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From  the  Earliest  Settlement  of  the  City,  up  to  and 

Including  the  Year  1857. 

By  T.  M.  NEWSON, 

Author  of  "Life  in  the  Black  Hills,"  "He-Ieo-pa,"  "Indian  Legends,"  "Thrilling  Scenes  Amw>g 

the  Indians,"  "Recollections  of  Eminent  Men,"  Etc. 

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Entered  accord  ng  to  the  Act  of  Congress  in  the  year  1884, 

By  T.  M.  NEWSON, 

In  the  office  of  the  Librarian  of  Congress,  at  Washington,  D.  C. 


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The  grave  levels  all  distinctions.  So  do  Pen  Pictures.  Each  name 
appears  in  its  individual  capacity  but  in  the  body  of  the  articles  the  merits  and 
titles  of  the  persons  mentioned  are  fully  set  forth.  So  too  as  regards  engravings. 
None  appear  but  that  of  the  author  for  the  simple  reason  that  some  can  afford  a 
steel  engraving  while  others  equally  as  meritorious  cannot,  and  hence  all  are  placed 
on  a  common  level.  It  is  possible  that  I  may  issue  a  special  edition  containing 
portraits,  if  the  demand  should  warrant,  and  in  that  case  none  but  steel  or  the  very 
best  photographic  engravings  will  be  used. 

And  thus  I  submit  to  posterity  this  work.  Writing  in  the  day  in  which 
the  majority  of  the  people  described  lived,  has  enabled  me  to  group  together  a  vast 
amount  of  reliable  information  and  to  procure  a  better  conception  of  the  peculiarities 
of  character  than  could  have  been  obtained  after  the  parties  now  living  have  passed 
off  the  stage  of  life.  The  work  embraces  a  period  of  twenty  years,  commencing  at 
1838  and  ending  with  1857  inclusive,  and  treats  exclusively  of  the  old  settlers  of 
Saint  Paul  and  not  of  the  State  at  large.  It  has  been  my  purpose  to  record 
impartially  every  prominent  fact  and  every  event  transpiring  in  this  period,  as  well 
as  to  obtain  all  accurate  dates  and  other  correct  information  respecting  the  subjects 
about  which  I  have  written  and  who  have  either  lived  or  died  during  the  period 
covered  by  my  book.  In  delineating  character  I  have  avoided  anything  which 
savored  of  extravagance  in  my  laudations  ;  and  the  best  evidence  that  I  have  been 
successful  in  my  labors  is  the  commendation  of  over  one  hundred  citizens  of 
Saint  Paul  whose  verdict  can  be  found  at  the  end  of  this  volume.  Hoping  that 
my  work  will  not  only  meet  the  approbation  of  the  old  settlers  themselves  and 
their  children,  but  of  the  people  at  large,  I  submit  it  to  an  intelligent  and 
discriminating  public.  t.  m.  n. 


Historical  Events   and   Biographical   Sketches 
Embraced  in  the  Following  Years 

Inclusive,  viz.: 

1838,  1839,  1840,  1841,  1842,  1843,  1844,  1845,  1846, 

1847,  1848,  1849,  1850,  1851,  1852,  1853, 

1854.  1855,  1856,  1857. 


Chapter  I. — 1838 — First  White  Settler,  page  6;  First  House,  6;  Saint  Paul, 
its  Origin  and  Early  History,  i;  Carver's  Cave,  3;  First  Actual  Settle- 
ment, 5 ;  Treaty  with  the  Indians,  6. 

Chapter  II. — 1839 — First  Events,  page  8;  a  Former  Slave,  Thompson,  9; 
First  Murder,  11;  First  White  Child,  14. 

Chapter  III. — 1840-1 — First  Events,  page  15;  Trial  of  Phelan,  15;  Pig's  Eye, 
16;  First  Church,  23;  Name  of  St.  Paul,  23;  First  Catholic  Priest,  24; 
Parrant's  New  Claim,  19;  Slavery,  22. 

Chapter  IV. — 1842 — First  Events,  page  27;  First  American  Flag,  29;  Saint 
Paul,  27;  An  Indian  Battle,  30. 

Chapter  V. — 1843 — First  Events,  page  32  ;  the  Outlook,  38  ;  the  Central 
House,  39;  Camphor  vs.  Whisky,  40. 

Chapter  VI. — 1S44 — First  Events,  41;  First  Frame  House,  43;  First  Grist 
and  Lumber  Mill,  44;  First  Protestant  Service,  45;  First  Drayman,  45. 

Chapter  VII.— 1845-6— First  Events,  page  46;  First  Hotel,  47;  First  Odd 
Fellow's  Funeral,  47;  First  Cooper  and  Blacksmith,  48;  First  Post-office 
and  First  Postmaster,  49;  a  Point  on  the  River,  49;  Oldest  House  in  West 
St.  Paul,  51;  Red  River  Carts,  52;  First  Painter  and  Artist,  53;  Import- 
ing Flour  and  Potatoes,  55;  Oldest  Dwelling  House  in  St.  Paul,  56;  the 
Oldest  Building  on  Original  Grounds,  57. 


Chapter  VIII. — 1S47 — First  Events,  page  60  ;  Fifty  Inhabitants,  60  ;  First 
Tavern,  62  ;  First  Day  and  Sunday  Schools,  63  ;  the  Wild  Hunter's  Hotel, 
64;  the  First  Physician,  66;  the  First  and  Oldest  Sunday  School,  67;  First 
Steamboat  Line,  69;  Town  Site  Surveyed,  71 ;  St.  Paul  House,  71 ;  Indian 
Camp  Fires,  71 ;  First  Tailor,  &c.,  72;  An  Eye  for  an  Eye,  t&c,  72. 

Chapter  IX. — 1S4S — First  Events,  page  73;  New  School  House,  73;  First 
Protestant  Sermons,  73;  Out  in  the  Cold,  73;  First  Delegate  to  Congress, 
74;  Title  to  Tow^nsite,  74;  One  Stoie,  74;  A  Running  Stream  and  the  Old 
Castle,  74;  City  Hall  Bell,  76;  St.  Paul  the  Capital,  77;  Only  a  Village,  79; 
Swinging  on  the  Garden  Gate,  83  ;  Somewhat  Remarkable,  84  ;  Don't 
Grumble,  it  is  a  Law,  88;  First  Miller,  90;  Shooting  Ducks  in  the  City,  90. 

Chapter  X. — 1849 — First  Events,  page  99  ;  Organization  of  the  Territory,  99; 
Population  in  City  and  Territory,  100;  First  Paper,  First  Editor,  First 
Printing  Press,  100;  Arrival  of  Gov.  Ramsey,  104;  A  few  Log  Houses, 
105;  Crystallization  of  Society,  105;  First  Brick  and  Stone  Buildings,  106; 
First  Protestant  Church,  107 ;  Room  in  w  hich  the  Proclamation  was  Writ- 
ten, 107;  Meeting  of  the  First  Legislature,  107;  Celebration  of  the  First 
Fourth  of  July,  108;  By  the  River,  109;  First  Deed,  no;  Tow^n  Growing, 
hi;  First  Brick  Yard,  iii;  Old  American  House,  112;  First  Stage  Coach 
and  Livery  Stable,  113;  Origin  of  our  School  System,  114;  Dividing  Line 
between  Civilization  and  Barbarism,  114;  The  Oldest  Printer,  115;  First 
Real  Estate  Dealer  and  First  Market  Woman,  118;  First  Burial  Ground, 
119;  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis  one  City,  119;  First  Clergyman,  120;  Green 
Enough  to  Try  It,  128;  Wild  Turkey  vs  Buzzard,  128;  Rice  Park,  138; 
Meeting  of  the  First  Court,  139;  First  Hardware  and  Furniture  Store,  139; 
First  Bank,  First  Masonic  Lodge,  First  Odd  Fellows,  141 ;  St.  Paul  be- 
comes a  Town,  141;  On  the  Bridge  at  Midnight,  147;  First  City  Justice, 
148;  First  Clerk  of  First  Court,  150;  A  Bit  of  History,  152;  Don't  Dream 
Again,  158;  Whisky  vs.  the  Barn,  160;  Seal  of  the  Old  Settlers,  162;  Going 
into  the  Country,   162;  Ramsey  County  Created,  166;   Monk  Hall,    169: 

First  Bankers,  170;  Just  Escaped  Lynching,  172;  Dark  as  the  D 1,  182; 

The  Contrast,  185;  Ploughing  in  the  City  in  1S45,  192. 

Chapter  XI. — 1S50 — First  Events,  page  193;  New  Year's  Calls,  193;  No 
Remarkable  Events,  194;  Post-otftce  and  Letters,  194;  First  Theatricals, 
194;  Ramsey's  Happy  Hit,  196;  Old  Bets,  197;  First  Mayor,  200;  First 
Bowling  Alley,  201 ;  First  Fresh  Oysters,  209;  First  Club  House,  209; 
Chicken  Feed  and  the  Indians,  211;  Threatened  Burning  of  Ramsey  in 
Effigy,  212;  Ho,  the  Day  is  Breaking,  214;  Arrival  of  a  Boat,  214;  No 
Great  Changes,  215;  First  Express  Messenger,  215;  First  Brick  House  on 
the  Bluff",  223;  First  Kerosene  Oil,  228;  The  Swedish  Authoress  and  the 
Swedish  Singer,  236;  First  Fire,  First  Church  Bell,  First  Court  House, 
First  Episcopal  Church,  First  Thanksgiving,  240;  First  Cholera,  First 
Directory,  First  Brick  Store,  241 ;  First  Photographer,  First  Lithograph, 
243;  Talking  to  the  Assessor,  244;  First  Brick  Store,  247. 

Chapter  XII. — 1851 — First  Events,  page  259;  Second  Meeting  of  the  Legis- 
lature, 259;  Capitol  located,  260;  First  Dramatic  Performance,  260;  Squaw 
Log  Drivers,  262;  "Malice  Towards  None  and  Charity  for  All,"  262;  Fir^'t 


Concord  Stage  Coach,  263;  A  Square  Drink  and  a  Free  Ride,  263;  The 
Old  Stage  Times,  264;  In  the  Swearing  Car,  264;  Indian  Fidelity,  265; 
Touchingly  Expressed,  267;  Just  mv  Luck,  268;  The  Express  Business, 
26S;  Our  Doubts  are  Traitors,  268;  Treaty  with  the  Sioux,  269;  The  First 
Bishop,  269;  His  Death,  271 ;  The  Red  River  Carts,  271 ;  First  City  Clerk, 

275;  Gov.  Ramsey  Driving  Nails,  276;  A  Thrilling  Scene,  2S4;  "D 

the  Land,"  28S;  White  Bear  Lake,  288;  The  Winslow  House,  the  Cathe- 
dral, a  Whig  Organ,  Hook  and  Ladder  Company,  290;  First  Leather 
Store,  293;  Grass  and  Hazel  Nuts  on  Third  Street,  300;  Reminiscences, 
301;  Indians  and  the  Beggar  Dance,  303;  Indian  Mode  of  Fishing,  304; 
No  Appreciation  of  Money,  305 ;  The  Characters  of  the  Day,  305 ;  The 
Oldest  Undertaker,  306;  Predicting  a  Collapse,  307;  Sauerkraut  and  Light- 
ning Rods,  308;  Scraps  from  Memory,  308;  Rather  Amusing,  309;  Dia- 
mond Cut  Diamond,  317;  The  Great  Beyond,  319;  Imprisonment  for  Debt, 
320;  That  Rocking  Chair,  324;  Now  Go  On  With  Your  Bidding,  325; 
The  Old  Post-office,  329. 

Chapter  XIII. — 1S52 — First  Events,  page  334;  Opening  of  the  Year,  334; 
The  Third  Legislature,  335;  Death  of  James  M.  Goodhue,  335;  On  Foot 
to  Superior,  336;  Murders,  Brutal  Scenes,  First  Hanging,  337;  On  Stilts, 
344;  "I  Gather  Them  In  !  I  Gather  Them  In,"  Mrs.  Ramsey,  345;  An 
Interesting  Incident,  Newson,  347;  The  Wooden  Ham,  366;  Bad  Luck,  367; 

Chapter  XIV. — 1853 — First  Events,  page  372;  My  Arrival  in  St.  Paul,  372. 
The  Fourth  Legislature,  374;  Events  of  1853,  375;  Two  Bucking  Govern- 
ors, 377;  Rice  vs.  Gorman,  37S;  Put  that  Man  in  the  Guard  House,  379; 
Grass  in  the  Streets  of  St.  Paul,  380;  Never  was  There,  381 ;  Log  Cabin 
vs.  Merchants  Hotel,  381;  Indian  Murder,  382;  In  a  Bad  Predicament,  the 
Pursuit,  Indian  Killed,  383;  Interesting  Incident,  385;  New  Postmaster? 
Prairie  Chickens,  Murders,  387;  An  Unpleasant  Situation,  Hole-in-the-Day, 
3915;  Indian  White  Queen,  396;  What  is  the  Use  ?  400;  The  Oldest  Banker 
in  the  City  401 ;  That  Old-fashioned  Inn,  409;  Incidents  in  the  Life  of  M. 
E.  Ames,  412;  Kissing,  41S;  Sold  the  First  Groceries,  421. 

Chapter  XV. — 1854 — First  Events,  page  426;  Capitol  Building,  426;  News- 
papers, 427;  Great  Railroad  Excursion,  428;  Unsafe  Currency,  429;  First 
Execution,  429;  That  Little  Black-eyed  Woman,  438;  Incidents  of  Early 
Journalism,  447;  In  a  Tight  Place,  448;  Luck,  452;  Beautiful  Girls,  452; 
Sick,  456;  A  Retrospect,  464;  Force  of  Habit,  465;  "I  Remember,"  465 ; 
''Backward,  Flow  Backward,"  468;  The  Early  Settlers,  471;  First  Dress- 
making, 472;  Feet  not  Empty,  483;  Parks,  487;  Claims  to  be  the  First 
Soldier  in  the  Union  Army,  492. 

Chapter  XVL — 1855 — First  Events,  page  495;  Condensed  Events,  495;  Emi- 
grating to  the  Frontier,  498;  Boating,  Fire  Department,  a  Year  of  Immi- 
gration, 500;  Gloriously  Exhilarating,  501 ;  A  Busy  Place,  502  ;  A  Square 
Republican  Fight,  503;  I  Know  it  is  All  Right,  506;  Oldest  Dry-Goods 
House,  509;  Excitement  in  Real  Estate,  514;  The  Old  Settler's  Heart,  517; 
Impediments  of  Life,  519;  Musings,  530;  The  Moon  Went  Right  On,  534; 
First  Billiard  and  Concert  Hall,  542;  "$5,  Just  $5,"  Billy  Phillips,  55S;  First 
News  Stand,  555. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  vii 

Chapter  XVII. — 1S56 — First  Events,  page  563;  Auspiciously  Begun,  563: 
Ramsey  County,  the  Prophecy,  564;  First  Military  Company  and  other 
Events,  567;  First  Policemen,  568;  Murder  and  Robbery,  56S;  The  Fuller 
House,  569;  Arrivals,  &c.,  570.  A  Memorable  Event,  578;  Light  on  a  Dark 
Subject,  600;  Why  ?  604;  Young  Men's  Christian  Association,  619. 

Chapiter  XVIII. — 1S57 — First  Events,  page  630;  Culminating  Year  and 
Conclusion,  630;  Twenty-four  Boats  at  our  Levee,  631 ;  Foster  father,  632; 
Up  in  a  Balloon,  634;  Ramsey  County  Jail,  Military  Companies,  on  the 
War-path,  636;  Directory,  a  Horrible  Murder,  638;  Another  Murder,  640; 
Theatres,  Constitutional  Convention,  St.  Paul  Library,  642;  Vigilance 
Committee,  Wabasha  Bridge,  644;  Twenty  Buildings  Burned,  646;  Con- 
cert Hall  Block,  648;  Rumbling  of  the  Cars,  District  Court,  First  School 
House,  654;  The  Social  Element  of  Early  Days,  657;  Rather  Embarrass- 
ing, 664;  The  Real  Estate  Mania,  666;  The  Sunrise  Expedition,  667;  Rise 
of  Real  Estate,  669;  Three  per  cent,  per  Month,  672;  The  Wave  Breaks, 
Hard  Times,  675-6;  The  Capittti  Removal,  Eighth  Session  of  the  Legisla- 
ture, 683;  Celery  vs.  Salary,  685;  First  State  Election,  690;  First  State 
Legislature,  691 ;  "Take  a  Drink,  Sir,"  692;  "  Be  Brief,  Sir,"  694;  The  Long 
Roll,  695;  That  Mule,  696. 

Chapter  XIX. — Little  or  No  Data,  page  699;  Early  Missionary  Labors,  699; 
Conclusion,  Good-bye,  734;  Testimonials  of  105  Citizens,  735,  736,  737, 
738,  739- 

^  [I  am  indebted  to  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill  for  courtesies  extended  during  the  preparation  of  this 





BY     ONE     WHO     KNEW     MOST     OF     THEM    WHEN     LIVING 








In  rapid  growth  and  in  material  progress  St.  Paul  may  be 
classed  among  the  most  remarkable  cities  of  the  Northwest.  In 
iS^Q — or  thirty-six  years  ago — when  the  bill  giving  Minnesota 
an  existence  was  first  introduced  into  Congress  and  by  which  bill 
St.  Paul  became  the  Capital  of  the  Territory,  even  then  men  well 
posted  in  geography  were  utterly  ignorant  of  its  whereabouts. 
It  was  delineated  on  no  map,  known  in  no  history,  only  recog- 
nized as  somewhere  near  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  away  off  in  an 
indefinable  country  known  only  to  the  savages.  In  the  march 
of  little  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  it  now  takes  rank  among 
the  leading  cities  of  the  Union,  and  in  solid  growth  and  prosper- 
ity astonishes  even  the  most  sanguine. 


History,    however    complimentary,    can    never    adequately 
compensate  the  early  settlers  of  St.  Paul  for  their  earnest  efforts 
and  struggles  to  establish  at  the  head  of  navigation  on  the  Mis- 
sissippi River,  the  foundation  for  a  city,  which,  in  the  brief  period 
of  the  next  twenty  coming  years  will  rival  in  commercial  greatness 
and  in  population  any  other  metropolis  in  the  West,  not  excepting 
either   Chicago  or  St.  Louis.     Its  past  history  and  its  growth ; 
its  present  prospective  outlook ;  the  grand  empire  beyond  it  yet 
to  be  developed  ;  the  opening  up  of  the  trade  of  Japan  and  China ; 
the  artery  of  commerce  which  cleaves  its  way  to  the  Pacific  coast 
in  the  completion  of  the  Northern   Pacific   Railroad  ;  the  great 
wheat  fields  tributary  to  it ;  its  gridiron  of  railroad  tracks ;   its 
grand  wholesale  trade  reaching  into  nearly  one  hundred  millions 
per  year;  its  increasing  manufacturing  interests  ;  its  large  banking 
capital — all  attest  the  causes  silently  operating  to  produce  results 
which  will  astonish  the  longest  head  and  the  most  sagacious  brain. 
Coupled  with  this  is  a  strong  probability  of  the  union  of  the  two 
cities    (Saint    Paul  and  Minneapolis,)  not  far  in  the  distance, 
and  with  these  combined  elements  a  power  will  spring  into  exist- 
ence here  that  will  challenge  the  admiration  of  the  world ;  for,  at 
about  this  point  in  the  dim  future,  midway  of  the  two  oceans, 
geographically  in  the  center  of  this  great  continent,  may  yet  sit 
in  solemn  grandeur  the   Capitol  of  the  American  Nation.     Con- 
gress  will  some  day  clean  up  the  Mississippi  River  from  this 
point  to  the  gulf;  millions  of  bushels  of  wheat  brought  here  by 
hundreds  of  railroad  trains  will  be  transported  on  its  bosom  to 
ocean  steamers  ;  rav/  cotton   from  the  plantations  of  the  south 
will  in  turn  find  its  way  into  our  mills,  and  fabrics  manufactured 
therefrom  will  go  forth  to  supply  the  wants  of  the  future  empire 
which  will  spring  up  between  this  city  and  the  Pacific   ocean. 
Iron  ore  from  our  mines  will  enter  our  blast  furnaces  and  supply 
the  great  demands  of  hundreds  of  yet  unborn  cities,  while  our 
mineral   resources  will  bring  into   existence  reducing,  smelting 
and  refining  factories  that  will  employ  thousands  of  men. 


This  earnest  missionary  was  no  doubt  the  first  white  man  to 
visit  the  site  where  now  stands  St.  Paul.  He  ascended  the  Mis- 
sissippi River  in  1680 — or  205  years  ago — but  before  reaching  the 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  3 

ground  now  occupied  by  the  'city,  was  taken  prisoner  by  the 
Sioux  Indians,  and  in  April  of  that  year  reached  a  Httle  bay  a 
short  distance  below  the  city,  which  must  have  been,  from  his 
description,  the  mouth  of  Phelan  Creek. 


In  1766 — 1 19  years  ago,  and  ^6  years  after  the  first  visit  of 
Hennepin — Capt.  Jonathan  Carver,  a  man  of  distinction  and  who 
had  served  as  an  officer  in  the  French  and  Indian  wars,  conceived 
the  idea  of  exploring  this  then  little  known  and  undeveloped 
region.  In  the  fall  of  1766  he  reached  this  locality  and  describes 
*'a  great  cave  about  thirty  miles  below  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony," 
in  the  following  accurate  manner:  "  The  entrance  into  it  is  about 
ten  feet  wide ;  the  height  of  it  five  feet;  the  arch  within  is  near 
fifteen  feet  high  and  about  thirty  feet  broad.  The  bottom  of  it 
consists  of  fine,  clear  sand.  About  twenty  feet  from  the  entrance 
of  it  begins  a  lake."  The  distance  from  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony 
is  not  thirty  miles  as  stated  by  Carver,  but  about  ten;  by  river 
about  twenty. 

carver's  cave. 

In  this  cave  Carver  held  a  grand  council  with  the  Indians 
and  he  claims  they  gave  him  a  deed  of  a  large  tract  of  land 
embracing  the  present  site  of  St.  Paul,  and  many  acres  above  the 
Falls  on  the  east  side  of  the  river,  in  the  aggregate  one  hundred 
square  miles.  Above  this  cave,  on  the  bluff,  was  the  burial-place 
of  the  savages,  and  here  to-day  can  be  found  many  mounds. 
It  was  also  in  this  cave  where  the  Indians  held  their  great 
gatherings,  composed  of  various  tribes  who  congregated  here  to 
talk  over  the  "affairs  of  state"  and  enjoy  their  huge  pow-wows. 
Those  were  happy  days  for  the  Aborigmes,  but  now  the  red  men 
are  rarely  seen  upon  our  streets,  or  rarely  heard  of,  except  on 
the  extreme  frontier. 

incidents  of  carver's  cave LYMAN  DAYTON. 

The  cave  alluded  to  is  at  the  foot  of  what  is  now  known  as 
Dayton's  bluff,  about  one-half  mile  below  our  present  levee,  with- 
in the  city  limits,  and  on  the  east  bank  of  the  Mississippi  River. 
The  bluff  derives  its  name  from  Mr.  Lyman  Dayton,  who  former- 


ly  owned  all  the  property  on  the  plateau  above  and  much  of  that 
in  the  swamp  below,  now  occupied  by  the  various  railroad  com.- 
panies.  He  was  an  energetic,  stirring,  liberal,  kind-hearted  man, 
and  had  he  lived  he  would  have  been  immensely  rich.  He  was 
portly  in  person,  quick  in  speech  and  action,  rugged  in  looks, 
performed  many  good  acts  when  living,  and  now  when  dead  his 
memory  is  kindly  cherished  by  all  the  old  settlers  who  knew  him 
well  and  appreciated  his  worth.  He  left  a  widow  and  an  only 
son,  the  former  living  at  a  place  called  Dayton,  on  the  upper 
Mississippi,  and  the  latter  now  a  resident  of  Minneapolis. 


Nearly  thirty  years  ago  I  traveled  with  a  lady  and  gentle- 
man on  their  way  East  who  had  visited  St.  Paul  to  claim  their 
possession  as  transferred  to  them  by  the  heirs  of  Jonathan  Carver, 
to  the  immense  tract  of  land  already  alluded  to,  having  in  their 
keeping  a  deed  of  this  then  and  now  immensely  valuable  proper- 
ty, and  who  were  greatly  disappointed  on  searching  the  records 
to  find  that  while  such  a  deed  was  given  to  Carver  by  the  Indians, 
yet  when  the  land  was  ceded  to  the  United  States  no  mention 
was  made  of  the  transaction  ;  that  is,  the  deed  was  not  confirmed, 
and  hence  the  title  was  not  perfect.  The  gentleman  was  then 
sick  and  subsequently  died,  but  for  courtesies  extended  to  him  by 
myself  on  the  journey,  his  widow  years  afterwards  gave  me  a  copy 
of  the  alleged  deed,  and  I  presented  it  to  the  Academy  of  Science. 
That  institution  united  with  the  Historical  Society,  and  when  this 
was  burned  out  in  the  old  Capitol  building  the  deed  went  up  in 
smoke  as  many  other  grand  schemes  of  men  have  disappeared 
in  the  black  clouds  of  disappointment.  What  would  have  been 
the  result  if  these  parties  had  succeeded  in  perfecting  their  title 
nobody  can  tell,  but  this  little  incident  is  interesting  as  connected 
with  the  early  growth  and  history  of  St.  Paul.  In  1848  Dr. 
Carver,  grandson  of  Jonathan,  visited  our  city  in  search  of  his 
property,  but  Congress  would  not  recognize  his  claim  and  the 
matter  quietly  dropped. 

THEN    AND    NOW. 

Over  twenty -five  years  ago  Carver's  cave  was  a  place  of  rural 
beauty  and  attractiveness.     Many  traditionary  legends  of  the  red 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  5 

men  lingered  around  its  peculiar  history,  and  tourists  entered  its 
cavernous  mouth,  dallied  with  its  clear  water,  wrote  their  names 
upon  its  transitory  sand  walls,  and  sometimes  penetrated  its 
winding,  hidden  rivulet  as  it  laughingly  gurgled  its  way  on  to  the 
Mississippi  river.  Then  nature  was  dressed  in  her  gayest  attire. 
Then  I  could  pick  my  way  along  the  bank  of  the  river  amid  the 
flowers  that  bloomed  on  every  side.  Now  the  whole  plateau  or 
swampy  land,  embracing  several  acres  over  which  I  then  passed, 
is  one  solid  network  of  rails  on  which  9,226  trains  or  45,636 
cars  pass  per  month,  or  over  250  trains  of  cars  daily  come  and 
go  into  the  saintly  city  of  St.  Paul.  (This  includes  freight  as 
well  as  passenger  trains  ;  of  the  latter  there  are  about  188  daily.) 
The  entrance  to  the  cave  is  at  present  blocked  by  a  railroad 
track.  Its  capacious  chamber  is  filled  with  beer  barrels.  Its 
pearly  stream  has  ceased  to  flow.  It  is  slowly  dying  of  civiliza- 
tion, and  in  a  few  years  will  be  known  only  in  history,  and  yet  to 
those  who  remember  it  in  its  palmiest  days,  it  brings  up  many 
memories  of  by  gone  hours  and  recalls  many  features  of  old 
friends  who  sleep  the  silent  sleep  of  death.  And  so  the  years  go 
by,  the  tread  of  population  increases,  and  the  landmarks  of  the  past 
are  obliterated  by  the  swelling  wave  of  the  human  race  which 
pushes  barbarism  to  the  mountains,  crowds  the  Indians  beyond 
the  plains  and  harnesses  nature  to  do  the  bidding  of  dominant 


In  the  year  1805 — eighty  years  ago — a  treaty  was  made 
with  the  Sioux  Indians,  w^ho  at  that  time  owned  all  the  land  on 
the  w^est  side  of  the  Mississippi  River,  by  Lieut.  Z.  M.  Pike,  (after 
whom  Pike  Island,  at  the  base  of  Fort  Snelling  is  named,  and 
which  island  can  be  plainly  seen  from  the  cars  on  the  left  coming 
from  the  fort,  or  on  the  right  going  to  the  fort,)  whereby  they 
ceded  to  the  United  States  a  reservation  at  the  mouth  of  the 
Minnesota  River;  and  in  18 19 — or  sixty-six  years  ago — the 
present  Fort  Snelling  was  commer;ced,  and  this  is  really  the  first 
actual  settlement  in  this  region,  antedating  that  at  St.  Paul  or 
"Pig's  Eye."  This  year,  or  in  18 19,  Mackinaw  boats  loaded 
with  government  supplies,  were  poled  up  the  Mississippi  River 
900  miles  from  St.  Louis  to  Fort  Snelling,  the  time  thus  occupied 


being  three  months.  Now  palatial  steamers  can  bring  the  same 
kind  of  goods  from  the  same  points  to  Fort  Snelling  inside  of 
five  days.  We  really  do  not  comprehend  the  march  of  events 
and  the  progress  of  the  age  in  which  we  live,  until  we  dig  up 
the  past  and  place  it  side  by  side  with  the  present,  and  then  we 
begin  to  realize  what  Galileo  many  years  ago  said,  that  '*  the 
world  does  move,"  and  surrounding  events  demonstrate  that  it  is 
moving  now  faster  than  at  any  other  period  in  its  history. 

treaties  with  the  indians  for  portions  of  their  land 

*'  pig's  eye." 

Thirty-two  years  after  the  first  treaty,  or  about  1837,  ^^^ 
Chippewas  ceded  a  portion  of  their  land  east  of  the  Mississippi 
River — they  claiming  all  the  land  on  the  east  side  of  the  river 
and  the  Sioux  all  the  land  on  the  west  side,  the  river  being  the 
boundary  line — and  part  of  this  land  ceded  by  the  Chippewas 
is  the  present  site  of  St.  Paul.  Settlers  of  the  Red  River  of  the 
North  mostly  of  French  extraction,  who  had  been  driven  off  the 
Fort  Snelling  reservation  ceded  by  the  Sioux,  settled  upon  this 
ceded  land  from  the  Chippewas,  and  hence  commenced  the 
nucleus  from  which  a  great  city  sprang  into  being  and  a  greater 
city  is  yet  to  be  in  the  march  of  years.  A  Canadian  voyageur, 
with  a  bad  reputation  and  sinister  features,  by  the  name  of  Pierre 
Parrant,  has  the  honor  of  being  the  first  settler  of  our  Saintly 
City.  From  all  accounts  he  was  an  ugly  looking  fellow  but  no 
doubt  brave.  He  had  an  eye  that  resembled  that  of  a  pig,  and 
hence  the  place  was  early  called  *'  Pig's  Eye,"  which  euphonious 
name  it  bore  for  several  years. 

FIRST  HOUSE  IN  ST.  PAUL  IN   I  838,  OR  4/  YEARS  AGO. 

Parrant  built  the  first  log  house  in  St.  Paul  in  1838,  or  forty- 
seven  years  ago,  and  at  the  close  of  that  year  nine  cabins  graced 
the  future  city,  composed  of  a  motley  group  of  Canadians  and 
Swiss  French.  Of  course  Parrant  had  to  live,  so  he  opened  up 
a  trade  with  the  soldiers  and  Jndians  of  poisonous  whisky,  and 
no  doubt  for  a  time  both  he  and  his  fellow  traders  did  a  thriving 
business.  I  believe  he  subsequently  moved  down  the  river  about 
three  miles  to  a  place  now  called  *'  Pig's  Eye,"  but  what  finally 
became  of  him  nobody   seems  to  know.     All  great  men  have 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  7 

histories  of  their  early  struggles  and  poverty,  but  in  the  end 
they  get  the  better  of  them,  so  if  this  law  applies  to  cities  as  no 
doubt  it  does,  St.  Paul  is  in  the  direct  line  of  promotion.  But 
what  a  hodge-podge  of  concatenating  episodes !  A  Canadian 
Frenchman  !  Bad  man !  Pig's  Eye !  Whisky !  First  log  house  ! 
First  settler !  Indians  !  Finally,  St.  Paul.  If  a  sinner  gets  to 
heaven  at  last  St.  Paul  is  bound  to  be  at  the  top  of  the  ladder ! 
When  a  boy  I  used  to  hear  the  quotation — 

"  Honor  and  shame  from  no  condition  rise, — 
Act  well  your  part,  there  all  the  honor  lies." 

St.  Paul  is  acting  well  her  part  now  no  matter  what  may 
have  been  her  early  history.  Beecher  says  it  is  not  from  whence 
we  come  but  what  we  are  and  where  we  are  going,  and  St.  Paul 
is  all  right  at  the  present  time,  and  is  pressing  forward  to  a 
growth  unprecedented  in  her  history,  or  in  the  history  of  any 
other  city  in  the  Northwest. 


I  am  trying  to  pick  up  the  old  stragglers  so  as  to  get  them 
all  in  line  at  the  muster  call,  and  away  back  on  the  road  side, 
sitting  on  the  green  grass  and  under  the  shade  of  an  aged  tree, 
is  a  somewhat  bent  form  whose  hair  is  gray  and  whose  eyes  are 
dim,  and  who  ever  and  anon  mutters  to  himself,  "  Yes,  yes ;  it  is 
a  long  time  ago,  forty-eight  years,  near  half  a  century,  since  I  came 
here.  Then  there  was  no  St.  Paul  ;  no,  no ;  no  whites  ;  no,  no ; 
Indians,  elm  trees  thickly  skirting  the  river ;  teepees,  war  songs 
and  war  dances ;  hark !  I  hear  them  now !  No,  no ;  only  a 
passing  thought !  Oh,  dear,  how  the  years  have  fled,  and  so  my 
children  tell  me  I'm  getting  old ;  I  guess  I  am."  The  breeze 
comes  up  from  the  river,  the  old  man  drops  his  head  upon  his 
staff,  stray  locks  of  long,  gray  hair  float  out  from  under  his  faded 
hat,  he  clutches  his  cane  with  his  bony  hands  and  dreamily 
w^anders  off  into  the  silent  chambers  of  memory — and  sleep ! 
He  starts,  rubs  his  eyes,  looks  around  him,  arouses  up  and  feebly 
says :  "  I  guess  I've  been  dreaming ;  yes,  yes,  I'll  go  home ; 
I'm  growing  old ;"  and  hobbling  off  slowly  his  form  fades  away 
and  is  lost  in  the  mists  of  eternity — he's  dead ! 

Mr.  Gauthier  was  born  in  New  York  state  in  1803  and  was 
one  of  the  original  contractors  of  the  Erie  canal ;  went  to  Texas 


in  1833  and  to  St.  Louis  in  1835,  where  he  married  ;  was  one  of 
the  first  settlers  in  Dubuque  in  1837,  ^^^  removed  to  St.  Paul  in 
1838.  He  was  an  active  and  prominent  man  in  St.  Paul, 
especially  in  West  St.  Paul,  where  he  platted  an  addition  which 
will  ever  remain  as  a  monument  to  his  memory.  He  died  in  our 
city  in  1884, 



First  Marriage— FiTRl  Birth — First  Death— First  Murder — First  Steamboat — With 
all  the  Events  and  all  the  Old  Settlers  of  iJus  Year, 


People  will  marry,  will  kill,  will  die ;  children  will  be  born  ; 
so  it  was  in  the  past,  so  it  will  be  in  the  future.  Basil  Gervais  is 
acknowledged  to  be  the  first  white  child  born  in  St.  Paul,  which 
event  occurred  September  4,  1839,  ^^'  forty-six  years  ago.  He  is 
still  living.  The  first  legal  marriage  was  in  April,  1839,  or  forty- 
six  years  ago — J.  R.  Clewett  to  Rose  Perry.  The  first  death  and 
the  first  murder  was  Hays,  by  the  Indian  Do-wau,  as  herein 
noted.  The  crime  was  committed  sometime  in  the  month  of 
September,  1839,  and  for  many  years  Phelan  had  been  falsely 
charged  with  the  murder.  The  first  steamboat  arrived  at  Fort 
Snelling  in  1823,  or  sixty-two  years  ago.  Mrs.  Jackson,  widow 
of  Henry  Jackson,  now  the  wife  of  John  S.  Hinkley,  of  Mankato, 
brought  the  first  clock  to  Minnesota,  in  the  year  1842,  and  has 
it  with  her  yet.     It  has  out-ticked  the  life  of  many  an  old  settler 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  9 

and  has  continued  ticking  all  these  long  years  of  various  changes. 
It  is  different  from  "Grandfather's  Old  Clock," 

"Which  stopped  short,  never  to  go  again 
When  the  old  man  died, — 

but  continues  on  in  the  even  tenor  of  its  way  with  its  everlasting 
tick,  tick,  tick,  tick  ! 


Lying  upon  a  couch  at  the  residence  of  Mrs.  Odell  in  West 
St.  Paul,  in  the  year  1884,  was  the  emaciated  form  of  a  mulatto 
man  about  five  feet  six  inches  in  height  and  weighing  one 
hundred  and  fifty  pounds.  He  was  formerly  a  stout,  healthy 
person,  turning  the  scales  above  two  hundred,  but  sickness  and 
old  age  had  conspired  to  leave  but  a  semblance  of  what  was  once 
a  hale  and  vigorous  organization.  His  name  was  James  Thomp- 
son ;  in  previous  years  a  slave ;  then  a  free  man,  but  poor  and 
dependent.     From  his  lips  I  learned  the  following  facts : 

WHERE    AND    WHEN    A    SLAVE. 

He  started  out  on  a  journey  when  a  mere  lad,  with  George 
Monroe,  nephew  of  the  President  of  the  United  States,  and  on 
arriving  at  Lexington,  Kentucky,  Monroe  became  involved  in 
debt  and  was  obliged  to  part  with  six  of  his  slaves,  among  them 
was  Thompson,  his  brother  and  sister,  and  several  aunts  and 
cousins.  He  was  then  conveyed  to  St.  Louis  and  from  thence 
moved  to  Fort  Snelling  as  the  property  of  John  Culbertson,  sut- 
ler, in  1827,  or  fifty-eight  years  ago,  and  was  roaming  about 
where  St.  Paul  now  is  in  1839.  He  was  purchased  by  Capt. 
Day,  of  the  fort,  and  from  this  point  went  to  Prairie  du  Chien, 
Wis.,  where  he  became  the  chattel  of  Rev.  Mr.  Bronson,  who  paid 
;^i,300  for  him  out  of  money  collected  at  the  East,  and  at  this 
time  he  received  his  free  papers  and  became  a  free  man,  having 
been  sold  four  times.  He  was  immediately  employed  as  an  inter- 
preter of  the  Sioux,  and  did  a  great  deal  to  advance  the  religion 
of  the  Methodist  church  in  the  early  days,  as  not  only  Mr.  Bron- 
son was  the  minister  of  the  church,  but  he  (Thompson)  was  a 
member  of  the  First  Methodist  Church,  as  well  as  a  member  of 
the  Old  Settlers'  association  in  this  city  at  the  time  of  his  death. 
He  spoke  in  the  highest  praise  of  Mr.  Bronson  as  a  man  who 


had  many  good  qualities  and  whose  kindness  of  heart  and  gen- 
erous acts  he  never  could  forget. 


Mr,  Thompson  said  that  during  his  long  residence  in  this 
section  he  never  had  but  one  fight  and  that  was  over  a  pig, 
whom  the  notorious  Phelan  (after  whom  Phelan,  not  Phalan 
lake,  was  named,)  had  stolen.  As  soon  as  the  fact  was  discov- 
ered by  him,  he  repaired  to  the  residence  of  the  thief,  which 
stood  near  Seven  Corners,  and  finding  his  pig  in  a  pen  he 
knocked  off  the  boards  and  the  favorite  quadruped  trotted  out 
and  along  home  after  him  like  a  little  dog,  really  glad  to  once 
more  find  his  own  master,  Phelan  was  absent  at  the  time,  but 
learning  that  the  pig  was  gone  he  became  terribly  enraged,  and 
sought  out  Jackson  and  told  him  some  one  had  stolen  his  pig. 
^*0h,  I  guess  not,"  said  Jackson;  "the  owner  has  got  his  pig,  and 
I  guess  you  will  have  to  fight  to  get  it  back."  "Well,  I  will 
fight,"  said  Phelan,  and  down  he  went  to  where  Thompson  lived 
and  charged  him  with  stealing  his  pig. 

"It  isn't  your  pig,"  said  Thompson. 

"It  is  my  pig,"  said  Phelan,  "and  if  you  don't  give  it  up  I 
will  lick  you." 

"You  can't  do  it,"  said  Thompson. 

"Well,  I  will  do  it,"  replied  the  thief. 

"Now  see  here,"  said  Phelan,  "I  will  meet  you  here  to-mor- 
row morning  at  9  o'clock,  and  if  you  lick  me  the  pig  is  yours, 
and  if  I  lick  you  the  pig  is  mine." 

"Agreed,"  said  Thompson,  and  the  two  parted.  And  sure 
enough,  the  next  morning  at  9  o'clock  Phelan  was  on  hand  and 
so  was  Thompson.  Phelan  was  a  long-legged  and  long-armed 
man,  and  so  when  the  parties  met  he  went  for  Thompson  with 
his  legs  and  feet,  but  Thompson  dodged  his  many  kicks,  when, 
all  of  a  sudden  he  siezed  him  by  his  nether  extremity  and  imme- 
diately the  brute  and  bully  was  upon  the  ground  and  Thompson 
pummelcd  him  with  his  fists  so  thoroughly  that  he  called  for 
mercy.  On  gaining  his  feet  he  acknowledged  that  the  pig 
belonged  to  his  antagonist  and  invited  "the  boys"  to  his  shanty, 
(Thompson  among  the  rest,)  and  treated  them  to  five  gallons  of 
wine,  and  ever  after  that  Thompson  and  Phelan  were  good 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3nNN.  11 


Though  a  poor  colored  man,  once  a  slave,  yet  he  not  only 
aided  with  his  own  hands  to  build  the  little  Methodist  church  on 
Market  street,  but  furnished  2,000  feet  of  lumber,  and  made  out 
of  the  logs  taken  from  the  river,  1,500  shingles  for  the  roof,  and 
then  gave  a  lot  which  he  owned  towards  paying  for  the  church. 
If  the  widow's  mite  was  considered  by  the  Saviour  of  the  world 
a  valuable  gift,  how  much  more  so  was  the  gift  of  this  once 
poor  slave,  and  yet  he  pined  with  sickness  on  a  lowly  couch, 
and  finally  partially  recovering,  removed  to  Nebraska,  where 
Oct.  15th,  1884,  he  died,  as  also  did  his  wife  four  days  previ- 


Mr.  Thompson  also  aided  in  erecting  and  constructing  the 
first  house  in  St.  Paul,  which  was  owned  by  Phelan  and  Hays, 
and  stood  near  the  Seven  Corners.  He  also  ran  the  first  ferry 

phelan  did  not  kill  HAYS THE  FIRST  MURDER. 

It  has  been  generally  believed  that  Phelan  killed  Hays,  his 
partner,  but  Mr.  Thompson  sets  this  matter  to  rest  very  decid- 
edly, by  stating  unequivocally,  that  an  Indian  by  the  name  of 
Do-wau,  the  Singer,  killed  him,  and  when  fatally  shot  at  the 
battle  of  Kaposia  this  Indian,  just  before  he  died,  admitted  the 
deed.  This  is  an  important  item  of  history,  as  it  relieves  Phelan 
of  one  of  the  many  crimes  charged  to  his  account  and  verifies 
the  old  saying  ''that  murder  will  out."  Hays'  death  was  the  first 
murder  in  the  city.  Phelan  was  arrested  for  the  crime  but  never 
tried,  as  no  positive  evidence  could  be  brought  against  him. 


Mr.  Thompson  said  that  the  ground  this  side  of  the  Capitol 
was  not  only  marshy  years  ago,  but  that  where  the  Church 
Hospital  now  stands,  on  Eighth  street,  near  the  property  of  Mrs. 
Robinson,  there  existed  quite  a  large  lake,  whose  outlet  was 
down  the  ravine  formerly  where  "Moffett's  Castle"  stood,  but 
now  occupied  by  the  beautiful  and  imposing  edifice  of  the  First 
National  Bank.     Out  of  this  lake  he  had  drawn  many  beautiful 


fish.  The  verification  of  this  fact  by  a  hving  witness  would  lead 
one  to  believe — looking  upon  the  property  now — that  Donnel- 
ly's able  and  interesting  Atlantis  is  true. 


Mr.  Thompson  must  have  been  born  in  1799  as  he  was  86 
years  old  when  he  died.  He  came  to  Fort  Snelling  in  1827,  or 
58  years  ago.  His  father,  he  thinks,  must  have  been  white  or 
nearly  so,  while  he  has  good  reasons  for  the  belief  that  he  kept 
a  noted  hotel.  Thompson  married  the  mother  of  Mrs.  Odell, 
(a  hale  old  lady  also  dead,)  in  the  year  1848,  or  thirty-seven 
years  ago,  by  whom  he  had  nine  children,  only  one  of  whom 
(George,  thirty-four  years  old,)  survives. 


In  personal  appearance  Mr.  Thompson  resembled  Morton 
S.  Wilkinson.  He  had  a  large,  aquiline  nose ;  a  high  fore- 
head;  small,  round  eyes;  a  well-set  mouth;  with  a  peculiar 
movement  incident  to  the  late  senator.  Beside  he  was  tall, 
slender,  somewhat  angular  in  his  movements,  and  yet  closely 
knit  in  his  physical  organization,  showing  that  with  proper  care 
he  might  have  lived  at  least  ten  years  longer.  His  complexion 
was  quite  light,  indicating  Anglo  Saxon  blood ;  and  his  whole 
make-up  clearly  showed  that  he  was  away  above  the  ordinary 
when  a  southern  slave,  and  fully  equal  both  to  the  white  or  the 
Indian  when  a  free  man.  He  had  played  an  important  part  in 
the  history  of  our  city  and  state,  and  during  the  fifty-seven  years 
that  he  had  trod  our  soil,  I  find  nothing  to  mar  a  well-earned 
and  excellent  reputation,  except,  perhaps,  the  duel  over  that  pig ! 
But  as  that  was  in  defense  of  the  weak  and  the  helpless,  so  it 
only  adds  to  his  glory  as  a  true  man  and  benefactor  of  his  race, 
for  it  taught  the  rough  and  bad  Phelan  to  respect  thereafter 
the  rights  of  others.  Once  a  slave !  A  good  man !  A  brave 
pioneer!     Life's  measure  full !     Going!     Goodbye! 

**  I'm  coming!     I'm  coming! 
My  hair  is  white  as  snow; 
I  hear  the  angels  calling — 
Poor  old  Joe!  " 

And  poor  old  Joe  has  been  gathered  to  his  fathers. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  13 


Almost  every  day  in  the  week  can  be  seen  upon  our  streets 
a  very  comely  Indian  woman  somewhat  bulky  in  form,  but 
with  a  good  countenance  and  pleasant  expression,  who  comes 
to  St.  Paul  from  Mendota,  where  she  lives,  to  traffic  with  our 
people  in  selling  game  and  moccasins,  and  thereby  obtain  an 
honest  livelihood.  She  is  one  of  the  aborigines  of  this  country 
and  is  known  among  the  whites  as  Lucy.  When  a  babe  in  her 
mother's  arms,  a  Chippewa  rushed  in  upon  them  and  killed  her 
parent,  and  subsequently  she  married  the  brave  Chaska,  one  ol 
Little  Crow's  leading  warriors — indeed  his  best  man.  When  the 
Indian  outbreak  took  place  in  Minnesota  in  1862,  instigated  by 
Little  Crow,  Chaska,  although  then  in  full  Indian  power,  rushed 
into  the  store  at  Yellow  Medicine  and  finding  his  friend  George 
Spencer  of  this  city  driven  up  stairs,  then  wounded  and  in 
imminent  danger  of  being  killed,  placed  himself  between  that  of 
his  friend  and  his  Indian  comrades,  and  saved  the  life  of  Spencer  ; 
hid  him  in  the  grass  ;  administered  to  his  wants  ;  placed  him  out 
of  danger,  and  then  sought  to  save  the  lives  of  other  whites, 
and  succeeded.  Chaska  was  commended  for  these  acts,  and 
subsequently  was  employed  by  Gen.  Sibley  to  act  as  a  scout  with 
his  expedition  across  the  plains.  He  was  either  purposely  or 
accidentally  poisoned,  (I  have  always  thought  the  former,)  while 
performing  excellent  duty  even  against  his  own  people,  and  his 
body  lies  buried  out  on  the  plains,  while  his  widow,  Ta-ti,  or 
Lucy,  passes  up  and  down  our  streets,  scarcely  noticed  by  the 
thousands  who  jostle  her  on  the  sidewalk.  Several  years  ago 
I.  V.  D.  Heard,  Esq.,  General  Sibley  and  others,  sent  a  petition 
to  congress  to  grant  this  poor  widow  a  pension,  but  the  members 
turned  their  backs  upon  it.  Great  and  glorious  country !  when 
the  widow  of  a  man  like  Chaska,  who  stepped  out  of  his  own 
ranks  to  save  the  lives  of  the  whites,  and  did  save  them,  can  get 
no  recognition  at  the  hands  of  congress  !  Millions  can  go  into 
the  vortex  of  illegal  pensions,  but  not  one  dollar  to  the  struggling 
wife  of  one  of  the  noblest  Indians  that  ever  lived.  I  absolutely 
blush  for  the  great  American  flag  when  it  is  tarnished  by 
such  flagrant  acts  of  ingratitude,  and  this  we  call  the  glorious 
American    republic ! — the    President   the    Great    Father   of   the 


untutored  savage.  But  Chaska's  name  will  live,  and  his  deeds 
will  live,  long  after  small  politicians  have  been  swept  into  oblivion. 
Ta-ti  can  have  no  prouder  monument  to  the  memory  of  her  dead 
husband  than  the  reflection  that  at  the  most  trying  time  in  our 
history,  "  he  was  the  noblest  Roman  of  them  all." 


Mr.  Gervais  was  born  in  what  is  now  St.  Paul,  September 
4,  1839,  or  forty-six  years  ago.  Soon  after  his  parents  moved  to 
Little  Canada,  a  French  settlement  about  ten  miles  from  St. 
Paul,  where  he  received  a  common  school  education.  He  has 
never  been  really  a  settler  of  this  city  having  devoted  most  of  his 
time  to  farming  in  White  Bear  township,  where  he  now  lives.  He 
is  the  father  of  a  large  family  and  is  in  moderate  circumstances. 

Mr.  Gervais  is  a  man  of  medium  size,  of  light  complexion 
and  quite  active  in  his  motions  and  in  his  speech.  Though  the 
oldest  settler  in  the  county — not  having  lived  in  the  city  though 
born  here — yet  he  has  failed  to  accumulate  any  property  out  of 
the  golden  opportunities  he  has  had,  and  still  perhaps  he  is 
better  off  on  his  farm  than  the  possessor  of  millions,  for  a  vast 
estate  always  brings  burdens  which  the  poor  and  humble  never 
know.  "  Will  you  take  care  of  all  my  property  for  your  board 
and  clothes  ?  "  asked  John  Jacob  Astor  of  a  complaining  friend. 
*'  Why  no,"  he  replied.     "  It's  all  I  get,"  said  Astor. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN,  15 



First  Act  of  the  Military— First  Priest — First  Church— Including  all  the  Events 

and  all  the  Old  Settlers  of  these  Years, 


A  few  French  families  from  the  Red  River  of  the  North,  who 
had  settled  on  the  Military  Reservation  of  Fort  Snelling,  were  forci- 
bly driven  off  by  the  soldiers  in  the  year  1840,  the  government 
claiming  that  they  had  no  rights  there  and  that  the  reservation  was 
for  the  military  alone,  and  this  was  their  first  act  against  the  whites. 
These  families  moved  down  to  within  the  present  limits  of  St. 
Paul.  This  same  year  J.  R.  Brown  was  elected  to  the  Wisconsin 
legislature  and  in  1 840  the  settlers  had  a  representation  among 
the  law-making  powers  of  our  neighboring  State  of  Wisconsin. 


-  It  was  in  this  same  year  (1840,)  that  Phelan  was  brought  up 
for  trial  in  Crawford  county,  Wisconsin,  for  the  murder  of  Hays, 
but  as  he  never  was  arraigned,  it  is  presumed  that  the  grand 
jury  could  not  find  evidence  to  form  a  bill  against  him  and  he 
was  set  free.  This  act  would  seem  to  corroborate  Thompson  in 
the  statement  that  Hays  was  killed  by  the  Indian  Do-wau,  and 
not  by  Phelan. 


In  chapter  one  I  accorded  to  Pierre  Parrant  the  honor  of 
being  the  first  white  man  who  settled  in  St.  Paul.  His  log 
house  was  erected  on  the  banks  of  the  Mississippi  river,  at  the 
mouth  of  the  small  stream  which  flows  from  F^ountain  cave  near 


the  present  brewery  of  Mr.  Banholzer  in  the  upper  part  of  the 
city,  and  just  off  the  old  Fort  road,  now  the  property  of  the 
Chicago,  St.  Paul  &  Omaha  Railroad  company.  Here  he  sold 
whisky  to  the  Indians  and  to  the  soldiers  from  Fort  Snelling, 
and  here  he  made  his  claim.  He  was  followed  by  one  Perry 
and  family,  who  located  near  Parrant,  and  whose  shanty  stood 
where  the  old  City  Hospital  now  stands.  It  must  be  borne  in 
mind  that  the  treaty  with  the  Indians  ceding  this  property  to  the 
government,  was  made  in  June,  1837,  (Parrant  settled  in  1838, 
others  in  1839-40-41,)  so  that  the  land  was  then,  in  1840,  open 
to  settlement ;  and  following  Parrant  and  Perry  (both  Frenchmen 
from  the  Red  river  region,)  came  the  Gervais  brothers,  Pierre 
and  Ben,  who  made  claims  this  side  of  Perry ;  and  following 
these  came  three  discharged  soldiers,  Evans,  Hays  and  Phelan, 
who  also  made  claims ;  two  of  them  settling  this  side  of  the  cave, 
while  Evans  took  up  his  abode  on  Dayton's  Bluff  The  claims 
of  Hays  and  Phelan  ran  from  the  river  to  the  bluff  and  took  in 
what  is  now  known  as  part  of  Third  street  in  upper  town,  includ- 
ing Wabasha  and  Eagle  streets,  on  the  first  plateau  above  the 
river.  Then  came  a  stranger  by  the  name  of  Johnson,  who  built 
a  house  near  where  the  gas  works  now  stand  ;  and  then,  in  1839, 
followed  an  Englishman  by  the  name  of  James  R.  Clewett,  who 
married  Perry's  daughter,  and  thus  commenced  the  first  settle- 
ment of  St.  Paul,  about  forty -seven  years  ago. 

pig's  eye. 

I  have  already  noted  the  fact,  that  Pierre  Parrant  moved  to 
a  place  called  Pig's  Eye,  (so  named  after  his  peculiar  optic,) 
about  three  miles  below  St.  Paul.  Here  settled  in  1839  some 
fifteen  Frenchmen  then  in  the  employ  of  the  old  American  Fur 
company.  Pig's  Eye  is  only  noted  now  as  the  place  where  a 
sand  bar  intercepts  the  navigation  of  the  Mississippi  river.  St. 
Paul  for  a  time  was  called  Pig's  Eye,  but  this  gave  way  to  a 
more  euphonious  name  which  is  still  cherished  by  the  city.  Pre- 
vious to  moving  to  Pig's  Eye  Parrant  made  other  claims  in  the 
city,  of  which  I  shall  speak  hereafter. 


It  is  an  indisputable  fact  that  the  early  settlers  of  our  city 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  17 

were  Canadian  French,  and  most  of  them  came  from  the  North 
and  were  a  hardy,  bold,  brave  class  of  men.  A  French  fort  was 
built  at  Lake  Pepin,  also  at  the  mouth  of  the  Le  Sueur  river.  They 
were  trappers  and  voyageurs  and  inured  to  frontier  life.  Among 
those  whose  memory  is  greatly  cherished  by  some  of  the  oldest 
settlers  in  this  city,  is  that  of  the  gentleman  whose  name  precedes 
this  paragraph.  Mr.  Guerin  was  born  in  Canada  in  1812  ;  entered 
the  service  of  the  American  Fur  Company  in  1832;  reached 
Mendota  the  same  year  ;  served  the  Company  three  years  and 
•continued  about  this  section  for  some  time  afterward,  when  he 
settled  upon  the  claim  previously  made  by  the  discharged  soldier 
Hays,  and  built  his  cabin  where  IngersoU's  block  now  stands, 
sometime  in  the  year  1 840.  Then  trees  and  brush  and  a  good- 
sized  forest  greeted  his  view  where  now  is  a  busy  mart  of 
trade  and  of  commerce.  Before  his  death  he  lived  in  a  small, 
■one-story  and  a  half  house  built  after  the  French  fashion,  which 
stood  on  the  ground  now  occupied  by  a  large  building  owned  by 
the  late  Dr.  Steele,  corner  of  Seventh  and  Wabasha  streets. 


I  remember  Mr.  Guerin  as  a  slender  man,  with  sharp  fea- 
tures, a  mobile  face,  cool  and  slow  in  his  movements,  quiet  in  his 
manners,  and  unostentatious  in  his  dress.  He  was  an  unselfish 
man,  kindly  disposed,  yet  decisive  in  his  character,  and  lived  a 
quiet,  unobtrusive  life.  As  an  illustration  of  his  generous 
impulses  I  state  the  fact,  that  he  gave  part  of  his  claim  to  an  old 
friend  who  erected  a  cabin  where  Mr.  Goodhue's  house  formerly 
stood,  corner  of  Third  and  St.  Peter  streets,  but  subsequently  this 
friend  sold  his  part  of  the  claim  for  ;^i50. 


In  1849  the  rise  in  the  value  of  Mr.  Guerin's  property — that 
is  his  claim — made  him  worth  ^150,000,  but  it  did  not  change 
the  quiet,  humble  citizen,  who,  out  of  his  newly  acquired  wealth 
gave  liberally.  The  land  whereon  our  present  Court  House 
stands,  and  where  several  churches  rear  their  spires  heavenward, 
was  cheerfully  given  by  this  really  good  man.  He  was  generous 
to  his  poor  countrymen,  and  many  remember  him  with  grateful 
hearts.  He  was  unlike  other  Frenchmen ;  more  cool  in  his 


manner;  and  when  surrounded  by  danger  from  the  Indians,  (and 
he  had  many  narrow  escapes  in  this  direction,)  he  exhibited  a 
calmness,  which,  in  view  of  his  nationahty,  was  truly  marvelous. 


Immediately  after  the  marriage  of  Mr.  Guerin  to  a  daughter 
of  Mr.  Perry,  he  lived  in  his  cabin,  which,  as  I  have  already 
written,  stood  just  where  Ingersoll's  block  now  stands.  Wil- 
liams, in  his  history,  says  :  **A  few  rods  from  Guerin's  cabin 
was  Parrant's  establishment,  and  the  powerful  nature  of  the 
Minnewakan  he  sold  the  Indians  there,  used  to  turn  them  some- 
times into  red  demons.  In  one  of  their  crazy  sprees  the  Indians 
killed  Guerin's  cow  and  pig,  and  destroyed  other  property. 
Indeed,  the  lives  of  Guerin  and  his  bride  were  oftentimes  in 
danger,  and  their  honeymoon  was  somewhat  a  stormy  one,  take 
it  all  in  all.  These  devilish  sprees  of  the  Indians  occurred 
occasionally  for  several  years.  Once,  when  Mrs.  Guerin  was 
nursing  her  first  child,  about  two  months  old,  some  nine  or 
ten  Indians  made  an  attack  on  the  house  and  tried  to  kill  Guerin. 
They  broke  in  the  window  and  attempted  to  crawl  in.  Mrs.  G. 
concealed  herself  under  the  bed  expecting  to  be  murdered. 
Guerin  seized  an  axe  and  was  about  to  brain  the  first  pagan 
whose  head  appeared  through  the  window.  This  would  have 
been  a  very  unfortunate  affair  for  Guerin  had  it  happened,  but, 
luckily,  before  any  bloodshed  occurred  a  friendly  chief  named 
"  Hawk's  Bill,"  came  up  and  remonstrated  with  the  drunken 
brutes,  urging  them  to  leave.  While  they  were  parleying  Mr. 
and  Mrs.  Guerin,  with  the  child,  slipped  out  of  the  door  and 
fled  to  Mr.  Gervais'  house.  The  Indians  then  went  away,  after 
shooting  Guerin's  dog  with  arrows." 

"  At  another  time  Guerin  was  leaning  on  the  gate-post  of  his 
garden  when  some  drunken  Indians  coming  up  Bench  street  hill 
fired  at  him,  a  ball  struck  the  post  making  a  narrow  escape  for 
Guerin.  Again,  as  he  opened  his  door  one  morning,  an  iron- 
headed  arrow  whizzed  past  his  head  and  stuck  in  the  door  jam.'* 

THEN    AND    NOW. 

I  quote  these  Indian  attacks  to  bring  more  vividly  to  the  mind 
of  the  reader  the  great  changes  made  in  our  city  inside  of  forty 

OF  ST.  PAVL,  MINN.  19 

years.  The  imagination  can  readily  picture  In  the  past  a  few 
log  cabins  amidst  forest  trees,  nearly  half  a  mile  apart,  with 
Indian  teepees  and  drunken  Indians  themselves  prowling  about 
on  our  present  Bridge  Square,  where  now  can  be  found  all  the 
paraphernalia  of  civilized  life.  Those  humble  huts  have  g  ven 
place  to  stately  edifices  of  commerce,  and  where  the  infuriated 
savages  sought  the  innocent  lives  of  Guerin  and  his  family,  can 
now  be  found  silks  and  satins,  and  where  the  forest  trees  inter- 
cepted travel  can  at  present  be  seen  street  cars  and  the  glare  of 
the  electric  light!  AH  the  old  cabins  are  gone!  The  occupants 
are  gone !  The  trees  are  gone  !  The  Indians  are  gone !  But 
still  civilization  increases  and   the  city  grows! 


Ten  years  ago  I  used  to  see  Mr.  Guerin  walking  our  streets; 
interested  in  our  growth ;  pleasant  in  speech  ;  aiding  every  public 
enterprise ;  a  really  noble  citizen.  And  even  later  along  in  life 
when  his  property  was  taken  from  him  and  he  became  poor,  he 
still  maintained  his  honor,  his  manhood,  his  integrity.  He  died 
in  1870,  aged  58  years,  and  the  Common  Council  of  St.  Paul,  for 
which  city  he  had  done  so  much  in  the  shape  of  donations  of 
real  estate,  very  properly  and  justly  erected  a  monument  to  his 
memory,  and  in  the  Catholic  cemetery  repose  all  that  were 
once  the  material  elements  of  Vetal  Guerin. 


Having  been  driven  by  the  soldiers  from  his  location  near 
Fountain  cave,  Parrant  took  another  claim  running  back  from 
the  river  and  including  the  present  real  estate  from  Minnesota 
to  Jackson  streets.  He  built  a  cabin  on  the  edge  of  the  bluff" 
near  Robert  street,  where  he  sold  whisky,  and  finally  disposed 
of  this  claim  to  Ben  Gervais  for  ten  dollars !  This  property  is 
now  worth  several  millions  of  dollars ;  certainly  not  less  than 
$3,000,000,  and  so  goes  the  world !  We  can  all  see  better 
behind  than  before,  and  even  if  we  see  ahead  we  very  often  lack 
the  financial  means  necessary  to  secure  a  good  thing,  or  even 
hold  on  to  that  which  we  have.  If  Parrant  had  drank  a  barrel 
of  his  own  whisky,  and  it  hadn't  killed  him,  and  he  had  gone 
to  bed  and  slept  until  the  present  time,  on  waking  up  he  would 


have  found  himself  a  rich  man  !     But  he  didn't  do  it,  and  he 
didn't    hold  his  claim,  and  he  didn't  get  rich !     And  what  are 
you   going  to  do    about  it?       Nothing!       It  is  the    old    story 
Who  has  not  told  it  and  who  has  not  heard  it  over  and  over 
again  ?     If — and  if — and  if — 


This  was  one  of  the  old  settlers  who  was  driven  off  the  Fort 
Snelling  reservation  and  who  made  his  home  in  St.  Paul  in 
1 840.  He  had  seven  children,  and  there  was  nothing  particu- 
larly remarkable  about  him  except  that  he  was  a  hard-working 
man  and  had  many  misfortunes.  He  died  in  1849  at  the  age  of 
seventy-five  years. 


This  was  the  only  son  of  Abram  Perry  (there  being  six 
daughters,)  and  he  never  resided  in  the  city  a  great  while,  but  is 
now  living  and  has  a  farm  on  the  shores  of  Lake  Johanna,  some 
ten  miles  from  St.  Paul.  Of  course  he  remembers  the  place  as 
it  was,  but  he  never  dreamed  of  its  present  growth.  He  is  an 
unsophisticated  farmer,  living  almost  outside  the  limits  of  civili- 
zation and  probably  enjoying  himself  better  there  than  amid  the 
dazzling  splendor  of  city  life.  He  is  certainly  better  off  than  he 
would  have  been  if  he  had  owned  half  the  land  upon  which  St. 
Paul  now  stands,  for  he  has  escaped  a  vast  amount  of  vexatious 
and  untiring  labor. 


Mr.  Rondo  was  born  in  Canada  of  French  parents  in  1807, 
received  a  slight  education  when  a  boy,  and  at  the  age  of  18 
years  engaged  to  the  Hudson  Bay  Company  as  a  voyageur  and 
was  sent  to  the  Pacific  coast.  In  1827  he  settled  in  among  the 
Red  river  colony  near  Fort  Gary,  and  married  a  Koontanais 
mixed  blood  and  became  a  farmer.  He  left  Canada  as  a  refugee 
and  came  to  Fort  Snelling  in  1835,  or  forty  years  ago,  near  which 
he  opened  a  farm.  Having  no  possessory  rights  upon  the  Fort 
Snelling  military  reservation,  he  with  others  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1840,  and  at  first  purchased  a  little  tract  now  in  the  heart  of  the 
city,  which  he  sold  and  took  a  claim  on  land  at  present  embrac- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3nNN.  21 

ing  largely  Rice  street  and  that  reaching  out  toward  Lake  Como, 
and  the  tract  is  now  called  Rondo's  addition  to  St.  Paul.  It 
was  mostly  a  marsh  with  a  large  number  of  small  tamarac  trees 
upon  it,  but  they  have  all  been  cut  off  and  the  marsh  has  disap- 
peared. He  first  built  a  small  wooden  house  near  Carroll  street, 
and  then,  as  he  got  along  financially,  erected  a  peculiar  small 
French  brick  house  with  a  projecting  roof  and  verandas,  which 
have  only  given  way  to  improvements  within  the  past  few  years. 
This  unpretending  building  has  been  absorbed  now  into  a  large 
brick  house  which  has  been  erected  on  the  spot  of  his  dear  old 
home.  Although  Mr.  Rondo  at  one  time  owned  a  good  deal  of 
property  yet  he  never  was  well  off  but  lived  humbly  and  worked 
hard  all  his  life-time.  He  has  many  descendants,  some  of  whom 
live  here  now.  He  was  an  honest  and  hard-working  man.  At 
the  time  of  his  death  he  was  88  years  old,  and  was  the  oldest 
living  settler  in  St.  Paul  in  the  year  1885. 


Mr.  De  Mair  was  born  on  the  Red  River  of  the  North  in 
181 3  ;  when  a  boy  his  parents  moved  to  Prairie  du  Chien  and  he 
arrived  at  Mendota  in  1838,  and  was  married  in  1840  to  Jose- 
phine Cloquet ;  took  up  that  year  160  acres  in  what  is  now  the 
city  of  St.  Paul,  where  the  University  avenue  car  barn  stands ; 
traded  his  claim  in  1842  for  a  horse  and  wagon  ;  from  1839  to 
1842  carried  mail  from  Fort  Snelling  to  about  where  Winona 
is  at  present ;  after  he  disposed  of  his  claim  he  took  another 
where  Calvary  cemetery  now  is  ;  remained  there  about  five  years  ; 
sold  that  for  a  team  of  horses  valued  at  ^300 ;  then  took  another 
piece  of  land  about  seven  miles  towards  White  Bear  lake  and 
resided  there  about  five  years ;  sold  this  land  for  ;^30  and  never 
received  the  money;  went  to  St.  Peter  in  1852  and  lived  there 
until  1877,  when  he  removed  to  Wisconsin;  then  came  back  to 
St.  Paul  and  at  present  lives  in  a  small  house  on  Winnipeg  ave- 
nue. He  killed  thirty-two  deer  one  fall  where  part  of  St.  Paul 
now  is,  and  away  back  in  1837,  or  forty-eight  years  ago,  he  saved 
the  life  of  Rev.  Father  Ravoux  near  where  La  Crosse  now 




Most  if  not  all  the  men  I  have  already  mentioned,  came  to 
St.  Paul  during  the  year  1840;  but  in  1841  appeared  Pierre 
Bottineau,  who  purchased  a  tract  of  land  known  now  only  in 
history  as  Baptist  hill,  because  a  Baptist  church  had  been  erected 
thereon  but  of  which  no  vestige  at  present  remains.  Where  the 
church  stood  can  be  seen  the  imposing  building  of  Wilder  & 
Merriam,  on  Sibley  street,  occupied  by  Nicols  &  Dean.  Bot- 
tineau's father  was  a  French  Canadian  and  his  mother  was  a 
Chippewa  woman,  and  with  the  blood  of  these  two  flowing  in  his 
veins  he  was  a  somewhat  remarkable  man.  He  was  in  the 
employ  of  Gen.  Sibley  as  guide  and  interpreter  in  1837,  and  sub- 
sequently became  famous  in  conducting  expeditions  across  the 
plains,  as  he  spoke  all  the  Indian  languages  and  had  traveled 
over  almost  every  foot  of  the  great  Northwest.  On  leaving  St. 
Paul  he  made  a  claim  at  St.  Anthony,  and  then  established  a  set- 
tlement at  what  is  now  known  as  "  Bottineau's  Prairie."  He  is 
a  large  man  physically  as  I  remember  him,  with  a  prominent  face 
and  head,  straight  black  hair  and  piercing  eyes,  and  a  swarthy 
complexion.  An  odd  contrast  to  this  appearance  is  his  exceeding 
pleasant  smile  which  nearly  always  radiates  his  face.  He  has 
the  characteristics  of  the  bear  and  the  gentleness  of  the  woman, 
and  if  alive,  as  I  think  he  is,  he  must  be  a  man  74  years  old.  He 
is  a  noble  link  of  the  past,  as  he  combines  the  French,  the  Indian 
and  the  American,  in,  all  his  elementary  peculiarities.  One  of 
the  best  things  which  can  be  said  of  Bottineau  is,  he  was  always 
true  to  his  trusts,  and  that  of  itself  is  a  noble  monument  to  any 


Don't  be  startled,  reader,  but  it  is  a  fact  that  slaves  once  trod 
the  free  soil  of  Minnesota,  and  what  is  more  remarkable  still,  is 
the  fact  that  the  famous  Dred  Scott,  about  whom  Chief  Justice 
Taney  made  such  a  singular  decision,  viz :  *'  that  negroes  had  no 
rights  which  white  men  were  bound  to  respect,"  was  once  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  23 

-slave  of  Surgeon  Emerson,  stationed  at  Fort  SnelHng,  Minne- 
sota. At  that  early  day  nobody  interfered  with  the  slaves  owned 
by  the  officers,  and  yet  they  were  really  slaves  and  were  treated 
as  such.  A  young  negro  by  the  name  of  Thompson,  was  owned 
by  an  officer  at  the  fort  and  was  subsequently  sold  at  Prarie  du 
•Chien,  Wis.,  to  Mr.  Bronson,  for  ;^  1,200,  and  he  was  afterwards 
used  as  an  interpreter  of  the  Sioux  language.  To  the  credit  of 
Minnesota  be  it  said,  that  no  slave  was  ever  bought  or  sold  on 
our  soil,  and  yet  it  was  a  common  thing  for  the  officers  at  the 
Fort  to  bring  their  slaves  with  them  as  personal  property,  as  under 
the  law  they  were.  Mr.  Thompson  formerly  lived  in  St.  Paul, 
but  moved  to  Nebraska,  where  he  and  his  wife  died  in  1884. 
(See  Chapter  II.)  In  the  meantime  let  us  bless  God  that  slavery 
is  dead! 


Among  those  who  came  to  Minnesota  but  not  to  reside 
permanently  in  St.  Paul,  between  1830  and  1841,  were  Joseph 
R.  Brown,  dead,  in  1825,  or  60  years  ago;  Norman  W.  Kittson, 
living,  in  1832,  or  53  years  ago;  H.  H.  Sibley,  living,  in  1834,  or 
51  years  ago;  Wm.  H.  Forbes,  Martin  McLeod  and  Franklin 
Steele,  all  dead,  in  1837,  01*  4^  years  ago;  Henry  M.  Rice,  liv- 
ing, VVm.  Holcombe,  dead,  1839,  or  46  years  ago.  Five  of 
these  oldest  settlers  subsequently  moved  to  St.  Paul  and  have 
played  an  important  part  in  her  progress  and  in  her  destiny. 

FIRST  church NAME  OF  ST.  PAUL. 

In  the  year  1841 — forty-four  years  ago — the  Catholics  of 
Dubuque,  la.,  conscious  of  the  existence  of  a  settlement  in  this 
then  far  off  region,  sent  out  Rev.  Lucian  Galtier  to  establish  a 
mission  at  Fort  Snelling,  and  this  good  man,  finding  a  group  of 
his  own  nationality  and  religion  where  St.  Paul  now  is,  erected 
a  small  church  of  tamarac  poles,  "  so  poor,"  he  writes,  "  it  would 
remind  one  of  the  stable  at  Bethlehem."  This  simple  structure 
was  dedicated  on  Nov.  i,  1841,  or  44  years  ago,  and  named  the 
"Chapel  of  St.  Paul."  It  stood  on  the  bluff  overlooking  the 
Mississippi  river,  on  what  is  now  known  as  Bench  street,  and 
near  the  rear  end  of  the  PioJteer  Press  building.  It  was  a 
-genuine  log  cabin,  with  one  door  for  entrance,  two  windows  on 


each  side,  a  cross  at  the  front  on  the  cornice,  and  the  old  picture 
of  it  makes  a  striking  contrast  either  with  the  present  cathedral 
or  the  more  modern  and  more  expensive  German  Catholic 
Church,  which  cost  in  the  neighborhood  of  $300,000.  At  the 
dedication  of  this  chapel  the  reverend  father  expressed  a  wish 
that  the  place  then  known  as  'Tig's  Eye"  might  be  named 
"St.  Paul,"  and  from  this  little  incident  the  city  received  the- 
name  it  now  bears  and  which  name  has  become  familiar 
throuorhout  the  land. 


My  history  would  be  incomplete  without  a  biographical 
sketch  of  the  first  priest  who  commenced  his  religious  teachings 
in  the  city  of  St.  Paul.  Speaking  of  him.  Rev.  John  Ireland 
says:  "  Galtier  was  born  in  France  in  1811  ;  was  a  student  of 
theology  in  his  native  diocese,  when  Bishop  Loras,  of  Dubuque, 
Iowa,  came  to  Europe  in  quest  of  missionaries  ;  that  those  who 
were  persuaded  to  follow  him  to  America  and  do  missionary 
work,  were  Rev.  Joseph  Cretin,  afterwards  Bishop  of  St.  Paul  ; 
Rev.  Joseph  Pelamourgues  ;  Rev.  A.  Ravoux,  now  vicar  general 
of  St.  Paul,  and  Rev.  L.  Galtier.  The  latter  left  Dubuque  for 
Fort  Snelling  on  the  26th  of  April,  1840,  and  as  he  himself 
WTites :  **  There  was  then  no  St.  Paul  ;  there  was  on  the  site  of 
the  present  city  but  a  single  log  house  occupied  by  a  man  named 
Phelan,  and  steamboats  never  stopped  there."  Not  finding  many 
settlers  above  the  Fort  on  the  St.  Peter  river,  he  continued  in  an 
unsettled  condition  at  that  place  until  several  families  had  made 
locations  on  the  Mississippi  river,  below  Fountain  Cave,  as 
described  in  a  previous  article.  He  says :  "  Already  a  few 
parties  had  opened  farms  in  this  vicinity,  (that  is  near  the  cave,) 
and  added  to  these  the  new  accessions  formed  quite  a  little  settle- 
ment. Among  the  occupants  of  this  ground  were  Rondo,  Vetal 
Guerin,  Pierre  Bottineau,  the  Gervais  brothers,  etc.  I  deemed  it 
my  duty  to  visit  occasionally  these  families,  and  set  to  work  to 
choose  a  suitable  spot  for  a  church."  The  place  of  the  church 
was  soon  selected  as  hitherto  described,  and  the  building  erected. 
Writing  to  Bishop  Grace,  of  this  city,  he  says  :  "  On  the  first  of 
November,  in  the  year  1841,  I  blessed  the  new  basilica  and  dedi- 
cated it  to  St.  Paul,  the  apostle  ot  nations.     I  expressed  a  wish 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  25 

at  the  same  time  that  the  settlement  should  be  known  thereafter 
by  the  same  name,  and  my  desire  was  obtained.  The  name 
*'  St.  Paul"  as  applied  to  a  town  or  city,  seemed  appropriate.  The 
monosyllable  is  short,  sounds  well,  and  is  understood  by  all 
denominations  of  Christians.  When  Mr.  Guerin  was  married, 
I  published  the  bans  as  being  those  of  a  resident  of  St.  Paul. 
It  was  named  afterwards  "  St.  Paul  Landing,"  and  later  on  St. 
Paul.  When  some  time  ago  an  effort  was  made  to  change  the 
name  I  did  all  I  could  to  oppose  the  project." 

In  1848  Mr.  Galtier  went  back  to  France  and  returning  soon 
after  was  stationed  at  Prairie  du  Chien.  He  visited  St.  Paul  in 
1853  and  again  in  1855,  and  soon  after  died.  He  was  never  a 
permanent  settler  of  St.  Paul,  but  I  place  him  among  the  settlers 
of  1 84 1,  at  the  time  he  blessed  the  first  church. 

PERSONAL    appearance    OF    GALTIER. 

Those  who  knew  him  speak  of  him  as  a  man  of  great 
decision  of  character,  with  a  rather  strong  cast  of  countenance, 
large  mouth  and  overshadowing  eyebrows.  His  head  sat  upon 
his  shoulders  like  a  military  chieftain,  and  he  was  well  chosen  to 
mould  and  control  a  heterogeneous  mass  of  men  whose  lives  had 
been  spent  almost  exclusively  upon  the  frontier.  He  was  a  well 
proportioned  man,  with  a  fixed  determination  to  accomplish 
what  he  undertook,  and  he  succeeded.  Years  have  fled,  changes 
have  been  made,  the  first  little,  crude  log  church  and  the  first 
honest,  self-sacrificing  priest  have  passed  away,  but  both  will 
ever  live  in  history  made  doubly  dear  by  the  noble  achievements 
of  Rev.  Lucian  Galtier. 


Very  few  of  our  citizens  who  notice  a  tall,  spare  man,  with 
a  long,  flowing  coat  and  taking  extended  strides  upon  our 
streets,  ever  wielding  a  cane  in  a  peculiar  manner,  now  throwing 
it  out  from  the  arm,  and  then  bringing  it  down  upon  the  pave- 
ment as  he  moves  along,  would  suppose  that  this  was  Very  Rev. 
Father  Ravoux,  who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1841,  or  forty-four 
years  ago ;  and  yet  his  face  is  familiar  to  all  the  old  settlers  and 
his  kind  voice  has  been  heard  in  many  a  lowly  hovel.  In  active 
missionary  work  in  our  city  and  State,  he  ranks  next  to  Rev. 


Galtier.  Indeed,  I  may  say,  in  his  special  line  of  duty  he  excels 
him.  He  was  born  in  France  in  1815,  and  is  consequently 
seventy  years  old.  In  1838  he  offered  his  services  to  Bishop 
Loras,  of  Dubuque,  then  in  Europe,  as  a  missionary  in  the  West, 
and  soon  after  entered  upon  his  duties,  preaching  in  various 
parts  of  the  then  territory  ;  learning  the  Sioux  language  ;  printing 
books  in  the  Sioux  tongue ;  unfolding  the  gospel  to  the  savages 
by  interpreters,  and  in  1842  returned  to  Mendota,  and  for  some 
time  thereafter  took  the  place  of  Mr.  Galtier,  who  was  absent  at 
Lake  Pepin.  Among  the  books  he  printed  in  the  Indian  lan- 
guage, was  one  with  a  very  peculiar  title,  viz :  **Wa-Kan-tan-Ka 
ti  Cancu,"  meaning,  "  Path  to  the  House  of  God."  He  was  well 
adapted  to  mingle  with  the  Indians,  as  he  readily  learned  their 
language  and  by  his  mild  and  gentle  disposition  won  their 
regard.  On  the  removal  of  Rev.  Galtier  from  his  mission  at 
Mendota,  Father  Ravoux  took  his  office  and  preached  alter- 
nately at  the  former  place  and  in  this  city,  and  had  under  his 
charge  Mendota,  St.  Paul,  Lake  Pepin  and  St.  Croix,  until  the 
arrival  of  Bishop  Cretin  in  185 1. 


Father  Ravoux  is  a  marked  character  upon  the  streets,  or 
anywhere  else.  His  dress  indicates  his  calling.  With  a  kind, 
benevolent  face,  broad  forehead  and  slender  body,  he  moves 
along  with  the  aid  of  his  walking  stick,  with  all  the  agility  of  a 
man  of  forty.  He  is  a  strong  orthodox  upholder  of  the  Cath- 
olic Church  and  believes  in  the  positive  punishment  of  all 
violators  of  the  law  of  God  ;  or  at  least  what  he  honestly  thinks 
to  be  the  law  of  God.  Several  years  ago  he  was  engaged  in 
arranging  some  drapery  in  the  church  and  had  his  mouth  full 
of  pins,  when  he  fell  and  some  of  these  pins  passed  down  mto 
his  wind  pipe  and  some  stuck  in  his  throat,  and  he  has  suffered 
more  or  less  from  this  accident  ever  since.  It  has  affected  his 
preaching  somewhat,  but  still  he  has  performed  great  labors  in 
the  field  and  in  the  church,  and  is  yet  a  grand,  venerable  speci- 
men of  an  old-time  Catholic  priest.  My  religion  is  broad 
enough  to  accept  good  from  any  church,  no  matter  what  its 
denomination  may  be,  and  as  the  Catholic  church  early 
moulded  the  morals   of  the  young  St.  Paul,  so  it  is  a  source 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  27 

of  great  pleasure  to  record  the  meritorious  claims  it  has  upon 
the  public  sympathy.  At  least  the  earliest  religious  teachers 
and  the  earliest  religious  pioneers  were  of  the  Catholic  Church, 
and  history  demands  nothing  less  than  this  recognition. 



First  Name  of  St.  Paul — First  Shingled  Roof  Building — First  American  Flag- 
Incidents  and  Old  Settlers. 

THE    NAME    OF   ST,  PAUL. 

The  man  who  proposed  the  name  of  St.  Paul  in  lieu  of 
"  Pig's  Eye  "  for  our  city,  ougnt  to  be  canonized  in  history  and 
his  name  handed  down,  as  it  will  be,  to  many  generations  yet 
unborn.  Just  think  of  the  "  Grand  Pig's  Eye  Opera  House  !  "  or 
the  sweet,  charming  ladies  of  "  Pig's  Eye ! "  or  the  "  State  Capital 
at  Pig's  Eye!"  or  the  "^100,000  mansion  on  one  of  the  broad 
avenues  of  Pig's  Eye  !"  or  the  *'  head  of  navigation  at  Pig's  Eye ! " 
But  then  it  might  have  been  had  not  the  good  Catholic  priest 
Galtier  gallantly  come  to  the  rescue,  and  proposed  and  insisted 
that  the  name  should  be — St.  Paul.  He  did  not  think  that 
the  future  of  the  then  embryo  city  would  end — *'  in  a  Pig's 
Eye  ! " — and  so  he  gave  it  the  name  of  the  great  Apostle  after 
whose  teachings  he  himself  followed.  I  accord  to  Galtier  great 
praise  for  suggesting  the  name,  and  greater  praise  still  for  the 
utter  obliteration  of  that  horrid  expression,  "  Pig's  Eye !  "  as  in 
any  way  applied  to  our  present  city. 


In  1842,  or  forty-three  years  ago,  the  population  I  have 
described,  was  made  greatly  more  respectable  by  the  arrival  of 


Henry  Jackson,  who,  according  to  Yankee  ideas,  established  a 
store  of  general  merchandize,  including  liquid  goods,  and  for  a 
time,  in  1846,  or  thirty-nine  years  ago,  was  postmaster,  and 
allowed  letters  to  be  deposited  in  a  candle-box  two  feet  square, 
out  of  which  each  customer  helped  himself.  People  must  have 
been  more  honest  then  than  now,  or  there  were  a  less  number  of 
drafts  going  through  the  mails,  for  I  do  not  hear  of  any  one 
losing  money  at  this  early  day,  except  at  the  gaming  table.  Each 
one  took  his  own  letters  and  left  the  others.  If  this  system  were 
adopted  now  most  people  would,  no  doubt,  make  an  improvement 
upon  the  past,  by  taking  somebody  else's  letters  and  leaving 
their  own. 


As  I  remember  Jackson  he  was  a  short,  thick-set  man,  slow 
in  speech,  quiet  in  his  movements,  with  a  florid  complexion,  and  a 
mouth  full  of  tobacco.  He  was  generalissimo  of  all  he  owned 
— a  sort  of  walking  encyclopedia  condensed,  political  and  other- 
wise— and  a  man  to  whom  others  looked  for  general  information. 
He  filled  the  measure  of  his  usefulness  in  this  city,  and  if  my  mem- 
ory serves  me  aright  removed  to  Mankato.  I  well  remember,  in 
making  a  political  speech  at  that  place  in  1854,  or  thirty-one  years 
ago,  I  charged  the  removal  of  the  Indians  to  that  section  (then 
an  unpopular  measure,)  to  the  influence  of  Hon.  H.  M.  Rice,  and 
these  charges  were  based  upon  information  received  from  the 
then  Gov.  Willis  A.  Gorman,  now  dead.  At  the  end  of  my  speech 
a  man  in  the  audience  arose  and  said,  "  that  the  speaker  talked 
fluently  and  well,  but  that  he  could  tell  more  lies  in  a  given  time 
than  any  man  he  ever  heard."  It  was  Jackson — and  he  was 
right.  I  had  been  honestly  lying,  and  did  not  know  it,  but  sub- 
sequently learned  that  my  information  was  incorrect,  and  hence 
I  had  done  Mr.  Rice  a  great  injustice  which  I  took  an  early 
occasion  afterwards  to  correct.  [Further  information  shows 
that  it  was  P.  K.  Johnson  who  interrupted  me,  and  not 

GIVING    A    BOND    TO    MARRY. 

Jackson  was  born  in  Virginia  in  181 1,  and  was  a  self-made 
man,  possessing  considerable  fun,  well  versed  in  human  nature, 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  29 

and  very  hospitable.  As  an  illustration  of  the  humorous  element  of 
his  character,  it  is  said  of  him  that  before  his  commission  arrived  as 
Justice  of  the  Peace,  a  couple  applied  to  him  to  get  married,  but 
he  told  them  he  could  not  perform  the  ceremony  unless  they 
gave  him  a  bond  agreeing  to  return  after  his  commission  had 
been  received  and  be  legally  married  over  again.  They  consent- 
ed to  do  this  and  he  pronounced  them  man  and  wife — by  proxy. 
The  bond  was  given,  and  the  much  married  couple  departed,  but 
whether  they  returned  to  Jackson  again  is  a  mooted  question.  I 
guess  they  didn't. 

In  his  early  days  Jackson  went  to  Texas  and  engaged  in 
the  war  there,  and  then  drifted  to  New  York,  Wisconsin,  Illinois 
and  finally  Minnesota.  His  log  store  stood  upon  the  bluff  just 
back  of  the  Fire  and  Marine  Insurance  building  on  Jackson 
street,  and  here  he  did  considerable  trading  with  the  Indians  and 
the  whites,  and  became  a  man  of  considerable  importance.  In 
1843  1^^  ^v^s  made  justice  of  the  peace;  in  1846  postmaster;  in 
1847  elected  member  of  the  Wisconsin  Assembly,  which  office  he 
held  two  years  ;  later  he  was  a  member  of  our  town  council  and 
of  the  Territorial  Legislature.  He  married  Miss  Angelina  Bivins 
in  1838,  who  still  survives  him,  and  died  in  1857  at  Mankato, 
Minn.  Jackson  was  a  natural  pioneer;  easy,  good  natured  and 
very  social.  I  remember  him  as  a  man  sensitive  as  to  points  of 
honor  and  strongly  devoted  to  his  friends.  Jackson  street  in 
this  city  was  named  after  him. 


In  the  year  1884  I  met  the  widow  of  Mr.  Jackson  on 
the  streets  of  St.  Paul,  then  the  guest  of  Mrs.  John  R.  Irvine. 
She  is  a  sprightly,  well  preserved  lady,  full  of  kindness  and  affa- 
bility, and  remembers  distinctly  many  interesting  reminiscences 
of  St.  Paul,  some  of  which  I  hope  to  be  able  to  give  to  my 
readers  in  succeeding  chapters  of  Pen  Pictures. 


Among  the  early  settlers  who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1 842,  was 
Sergeant  Richard  W\  Mortimer,  an  Englishman  by  birth  and  a 
man  of  good  education.  On  migrating  to  this  country  he  secured 
a  position  in  the  United  States   army,  and  finally  followed  the 


soldiers  to  Fort  Snelling,  where  he  remained  for  some  time,  and 
then   moved  to  St.  Paul,  opening  up  with  the  money  he  had 
saved  while  in  the  army,  a  stock  farm  on  a  small  scale  and  also 
a  store.     The  first  shingled  roof  building  was  his,  then   standing 
on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Market  streets,  where  Simmon's  drug 
store  can  now  be  seen.     Mortimer  lost  money  in  his  enterprise, 
because  he  was  progressive  in  his  nature,  and  beside,  he  was 
simply  ahead  of  the  country,  ahead  of  the  city  and  ahead  of  the 
times.     He  lost  sight  of  the  fact  that  the  poverty  of  the  people 
would  prevent  them  from  sustaining  him  in  his  new  departure^ 
so  he  finally  spent  his  money  without  any  adequate  recompense, 
became  dissatisfied  with  his  lot,  regretted  he  had  ever  left  the 
army,  and  pined  away  and  died  at  the  early  age  of  43  years.    He 
was  loyal  to  the  country  of  his  adoption  and  paid  ;^35  for  the 
first  stars  and  stripes  that  ever  floated  over  St.  Paul,  and  when 
this  flag  was  struck  down  he  was  ready  to  shoot  the  villain  on 
the  spot,  and  would  have  done  so  if  he  had  not  been  prevented. 
Mortimer's  $5,000  dwindled  to  nothing  in   1842,  but  if  he  were 
alive  to-day  with  his  money  and  his  experience,  and  could  majce 
the  same  investment  he   made  then,  (eighty  acres  between  St. 
Peter  and  Washington  streets,)   a  good   round   fortune  would 
crown  his  efforts.     Some  reap  while  others  toil ;  some  toil  and 
reap  nothing ;  others  gather  plentifully  out  of  sheer   good  luck, 
while  thousands  pine  and  suffer  for  the  necessaries  of  life.    What 
a  long  train  of  trouble,  and  trial,  and  toil,  and  disaster,  and  finan- 
cial ruin  has  led  to  the  present  prosperity  of  St.  Paul,  and  how 
little  we  think  of  it ;  and  still  it  is  a  law,  and  the  law  goes  on  and 
we  go  on  with  it,  until  at  last  we  shall  all  be  lost  in  the  great 
whirpool  of  oblivion. 

AN    INDIAN    battle   NEAR   ST.  PAUL. 

The  new  comers  to  this  city  of  rapid  growth  and  unparal- 
leled prospective  greatness,  can  scarcely  realize  that  only  a  few 
years  ago  Indians  trod  our  streets,  or  rather  traveled  over  the 
ground  where  our  streets  now  are,  at  times  gloating  over  their 
bloody  battles,  or  dangling  the  reeking  scalp  of  a  new-fallen  foe  1 
And  yet  such  is  the  fact !  It  should  be  remembered  by  the  reader, 
that  the  Sioux  and  the  Chippewas  have  always  been  enemies 
— that  the  former  owned  the  land  on  the  west  side  of  the  river 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  31 

and  the  latter  that  on  the  east ;  that  whenever  one  tribe  killed  a 
member  of  another  tribe,  revenge  followed,  and  growing  out  of 
this  many  bloody  battles  were  fought.  Now  in  the  first  place, 
three  Sioux  were  killed  at  Fort  Snelling  by  the  Chippewas,  who 
lay  in  ambush  to  take  their  scalps.  In  retaliation  for  this  the 
Sioux  penetrated  the  Chippewa  country  to  punish  their  enemy, 
but  were  beaten.  To  revenge  this  raid  the  Chippewas  determined 
to  attack  the  Sioux  villige  of  Little  Crow,  at  Kaposia,  a  few 
miles  on  the  west  side  of  the  river  below  St.  Paul,  but,  before 
they  reached  the  village  a  battle  took  place  on  the  east  side  of 
the  river,  known  as  Red  Rock.  The  Chippewas  numbered  about 
1 50  warriors.  Near  where  they  made  their  first  halt  to  recon- 
noiter  they  killed  two  Sioux  women,  who  were  in  the  field  hoeing 
corn,  and  cut  off  the  head  of  a  little  boy,  son  of  one  of  the 
women.  The  firing  of  guns  at  this  point  aroused  the  Sioux  at 
the  village,  and  they  prepared  for  the  combat.  Rushing  across 
the  river  they  met  the  Chippewas  and  the  battle  became  fijrious 
and  lasted  nearly  three  hours,  when  the  Chippewas  fled,  leaving 
ten  or  twelve  of  their  dead  upon  the  field.  The  Sioux  lost  about 
twenty  of  their  men,  but  they  continued  their  pursuit  of  the  flying 
Chippewas  for  a  number  of  miles,  and  then  returned  to  their 
village.  I  gleaned  these  facts  from  the  late  Thomas  Odell,  of 
West  St.  Paul,  who  died  from  the  effects  of  a  cancer  about  two 
years  ago.  Mr.  Odell  was  fully  cognizant  of  all  the  incidents 
of  this  engagement,  and  no  doubt  they  can  be  relied  upon,  at 
least  in  all  their  main  features,  as  correct. 

different  scenes  now. 

Different  scenes  now  meet  the  eye  of  the  citizen  and  the 
stranger.  No  Indians  prowl  about  our  city,  except  perhaps  a 
few  half-civilized  squaws  from  Mendota,  and  no  rumor  of  an 
Indian  outbreak  causes  excitement  in  our  midst.  On  the  same 
ground  where  the  teepee  stood  is  now  the  building  of  a  majestic 
wholesale  establishment,  and  where  the  wild  men  of  the  forest 
once  held  their  war-dances,  now  glows  in  beauty  and  in  grandeur 
our  new  and  splendid  opera  house.  Church  bells  in  70  towers 
drown  the  yell  of  savage  revenge  in  the  startling  war  whoop, 
while  the  white-winged  dove  of  peace  cooes  in  solemn  grandeur 
over  the  graves  of  a  departed  race. 




First  Oldest  Settler  Living— First  Meat  Market— First  Four  Log  Huts. 


In  chapter  number  four  I  brought  the  reader  down  to  the 
year  1842,  or  204  years  from  the  time  Louis  Hennepin  first 
visited  this  locaHty,  and  the  first  time  the  first  white  man  set 
foot  upon  soil  where  now  grows  in  grandeur  and  in  greatness 
the  city  of  St.  Paul. 


Among  the  oldest  of  the  old  settlers  was  Donald  McDon- 
ald, of  Scotch  descent,  born  in  Canada  in  1803,  and  who  died 
in  1884,  at  the  ripe  age  of  eighty  years.  He  was  at  one  time  in 
the  employ  of  both  the  Hudson  and  the  American  Fur  Com- 
panies ;  traveled  and  traded  very  extensively  throughout  the 
Northwest,  and  claims  to  have  put  up  the  third  house  on  the 
east  side  of  the  Mississippi  on  ground  now  occupied  by  St. 
Paul.  He  then  laid  claim  to  the  land  formerly  owned  by  the 
late  Stephen  Denoyer,  or  better  known  where  the  old  Half-way 
House  now  stands,  a  few  miles  outside  of  the  city,  on  the  well 
known  St.  Anthony  road.  He  sold  this  land  to  Denoyer  "  for  a 
barrel  of  whisky  and  two  Indian  guns,"  the  said  land  now 
being  worth  not  less  than  $500,000  !  Poor  Mc.  I  did  not  know 
him  personally,  but  learn  he  was  a  brawny  Scotchman,  strong, 
venturesome,  and  exceedingly  fond  of  a  roving  life.  He  mar- 
ried a  half-breed,  and  after  raising  a  large  family  of  children, 
stepped  across  the  Stygian  river  to  continue  again  his  travels  in 
another  world. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  S3 


During  the  year  1842  a  Canadian  voyageur,  known  only  by 
the  name  of ''  Old  Pelon,"  drifted  to  the  young  city  and  became 
the  bar-keeper  of  Jackson.  Mr.  Goodhue,  the  first  editor,  spoke 
of  him  as  follows  :  "At  that  time  all  sorts  of  liquors  were  sold 
out  of  the  same  decanter,  and  a  stranger  coming  into  the  store 
once,  asked  Pelon  if  he  had  any  confectionery?  Pelon,  not 
knowing  the  meaning  of  the  word,  supposed  it  was  some  kind 
of  liquor,  passed  out  the  decanter  of  whisky  to  his  customer, 
saying  :  "  Oui,  Monsieur,  here  is  confecshawn,  ver  good,  superb, 
magnifique."  The  stranger  didn't  drink  but  Pelon  did,  and 
continued  to  do  so  until  his  appetite  and  his  old  age  laid  him  in 
the  grave. 


Bilanski  was  a  Polander.  His  claim  was  known  as  "  Oak 
Point,"  near  the  present  machine  shops  of  the  St.  Paul  &  Duluth 
Railroad  Company,  or  better  known  now  as  Arlington  Heights. 
He  was  a  lover  of  women,  having  married  four,  from  three  of 
whom  he  had  obtained  divorces,  but  one  morning  he  was  found 
dead,  and  on  investigation  it  was  proved,  at  least  by  circum.- 
stantial  evidence,  that  he  had  been  poisoned  by  his  wife,  who  was 
arrested  for  the  crime  on  the  evidence  of  a  servant  girl,  tried  and 
convicted  of  murder,  and  was  hung  in  i860. 

JOHN    R.    IRVINE. 

Mr.  Irvine  came  to  this  city  in  the  winter  of  1843,  ^^'^  ^i^^ 
Jackson,  his  friend,  of  whom  I  wrote  in  my  last  chapter,  brought 
with  him  a  load  of  groceries,  which  he  soon  disposed  of.  He  was 
born  in  Danville,  N.  Y.,  in  18 12,  and  combined  the  trades  of  the 
blacksmith  and  the  plasterer.  In  the  latter  capacity  I  knew  him. 
He  purchased  a  claim  of  land  embracing  about  300  acres,  (pay- 
ing ^300  for  it,)  occupying  nearly  all  of  what  is  now  known  as 
upper  St.  Paul,  and  his  log  house,  built  after  the  French  fashion, 
stood  on  the  corners  of  West  Third  and  Franklin  streets.  Then 
trees  and  brush  and  running  streams  made  ingress  to  or  egress 
from  his  home  very  difficult.  On  the  flats  below  Third  street, 
designated  the  "  upper  levee,"  was  a  dense  forest  of  elm  trees, 
only  one  of  which  is  left  as  a  memory  of  the  past.     Rings   on 


these  trees  have  been  counted  up  to  as  high  as  600,  making  them 
not  less  than  600  years  old.  Most  of  these  trees  were  cut 
off  by  Mr.  Irvine  and  sold  to  steamboats.  Along  the  base  of  the 
hill,  skirting  Summit  avenue,  were  cedar  and  tamarac  ;  all  have 
disappeared.  From  Mr.  Irvine's  house  in  back  to  the  bluff, 
including  the  ground  now  occupied  by  the  German  Catholic 
Church,  and  from  the  Seven  Corners,  also  including  a  good  por- 
tion of  Pleasant  and  College  avenues,  and  indeed  reaching  down 
Seventh  and  Eighth  streets  and  below  Jackson,  was  a  bog  mire 
impossible  to  travel.  Now  this  property  is  one  of  the  most 
valuable  in  the  city.  Mr.  Irvine  accumulated  other  property  on 
Summit  avenue  and  elsewhere,  and  the  combined  value  of  all  his 
real  estate,  had  he  held  it,  would  have  reached  the  sum  of 
$3,000,000,  He  gave  the  city  the  ground  for  Irvine  Park,  which 
bears  his  name. 


I  remember  Mr.  Irvine  as  one  of  the  people;  a  man  of  no 
ostentation;  a  laborer;  always  working;  never  idle;  quiet  in 
manners  ;  strictly  temperate,  and  very  even  in  his  every-day  toil. 
He  was  a  man  of  ordinary  physical  development,  somewhat 
compact,  cool  and  deliberate  in  speech,  and  eternally  and  ever- 
lastingly doing  something.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Legislature, 
and  although  not  a  brilliant  man  yet  possessed  a  good  fund  of 
common  sense.  During  the  financial  crash  he,  with  many  others, 
became  involved,  but  worked  out  of  it.  He  erected  the  laree 
building  on  the  corner  of  Eagle  and  Third  streets,  known  as 
Flat-iron  Block  ;  was  engaged  for  a  time  in  banking,  and  finally, 
when  in  the  midst  of  his  greatest  labors,  was  taken  sick  and  died, 
at  a  good  old  age,  reaching  about  66  years,  leaving  some  five  or 
six  girls,  all  of  whom  have  married  well.  Mr.  Irvine  had  three 
brothers  who  are  still  living. 

MRS.    JOHN    R.    IRVINE A    HALLOWED    OLD    AGE. 

There  is  nothing  to  me  more  beautiful  than  a  serene  and 
hallowed  old  age,  and  never  am  I  more  forcibly  reminded  of  this 
than  when  I  meet  the  cheerful  and  pleasant  face  of  the  former 
Miss  Nancy  Galbraith,  now  the  respected  widow  of  John  R. 
Irvine.     In  looking  on  her  clear  complexion  and  into  her  bright 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  iMINK  35 

eye  and  marking  her  pleasant  smile,  one  can  hardly  realize  that 
this  is  the  mother  of  a  large  family,  and  the  woman  of  pioneer 
life  who  forty  odd  years  ago  lived  in  a  wilderness ;  who,  though 
surrounded  w^ith  early  hardships  and  adversity  has  braved  them 
all,  brought  up  an  excellent  bevy  of  children,  and  now  is  gliding 
gently  down  the  hill  of  life,  loved  by  all  who  know  and  esteem 
her  ;  and  also  by  the  public  at  large  for  her  many  virtues.  She 
lives  on  Summit  avenue  with  all  the  comforts  life  can  give,  and 
I  only  hope  she  may  be  spared  many  years  more  to  enjoy  the 
laurels  she  has  so  justly  earned. 


A  few  itinerant  persons  came  to  St.  Paul  previous  to  Simp- 
son, but  soon  after  left.  Among  these  were  Coy,  Blanchard, 
Magee,  etc.,  whom  I  need  not  designate  as  old  settlers,  but  only 
driftwood  on  the  boisterous  waves  of  adventure.  Simpson, 
whom  I  may  class  among  those  who  came  to  Minnesota  in 
1842,  and  to  St.  Paul  in  1843,  formerly  kept  a  warehouse  on 
the  levee,  corner  of  Sibley  street.  He  was  a  small,  thin,  spare 
man,  possessing  business  qualities,  and  somewhat  in  advance  of 
the  times.  His  early  education  had  been  more  of  the  ministerial 
character  (being  a  Methodist),  than  the  commercial,  but  he 
finally  drifted  into  the  hard-tack  groove  of  life,  and  died  soon 
after  taking  off  his  harness.  He  was  born  in  Virginia  in  1818. 
He  once  owned  an  acre  where  Union  block  now  stands,  and 
subsequently  purchased  a  tract  between  Baptist  hill  and  the 
Merchants  hotel,  where  he  built  a  house  and  lived  and  died. 
Only  two  years  ago  the  house  was  torn  down  and  a  small 
parcel  of  ground  upon  which  it  was  situated  was  sold  for 
$90,000.  A  new  and  costly  building  has  been  erected  on  the 
old  site  adjoining  Mr.  Drake's  building  on  Fourth  street,  and 
where  Simpson  unthinkingly  planted,  the  present  owners  will 
reap  thousands  of  dollars,  as  the  property  is  located  in  the 
busiest  part  of  the  city.  He  paid  $200  for  the  tract;  its  present 
value  is  $200,000 — the  rise  of  the  real  estate  in  forty-two  years ! 
Mr.  Simpson  at  one  time  was  County  Treasurer,  and  performed 
his  duties  to  the  satisfaction  of  all.  He  married  a  niece  of  Louis 
Robert,  a  Miss  Denoyer,  who  survives  him,  and  who  has  been 
placed  in  comfortable  circumstances  by  the  recent  sale  of  the 
old  homestead.     He  died  in  1870,  aged  fifty-two  years. 



Simpson  became  frightened  when  the  cholera  first  made  its 
appearance  at  our  levee,  in  the  year  1854  or  5,  as  he  had  much 
to  do  with  steamboats  and  several  cases  came  from  the  boats. 
I  remember  one  poor  fellow  in  the  last  stages  of  the  disease, 
lying  and  apparently  dying  upon  the  ground,  deserted.  With  a 
good  Samaritan  I  went  to  him,  gave  him  some  whisky,  with 
powdered  charcoal  and  sugar,  and  to  the  surprise  of  all  he 
recovered.  Years  afterward  he  met  me,  hale  and  hearty,  and 
his  gratitude  was  unbounded.  Simpson  was  terribly  frightened, 
and  hearing  of  my  success  with  the  whisky  and  in  order  to  ward 
off  what  he  termed  "  that  terrible  disease,"  took  to  stimulants, 
but  his  frail  body  could  not  stand  the  shock  of  disease,  and  he 
later  passed  over  to  the  other  shore.  He  was  an  active,  worthy 
man,  and  the  old  stone  warehouse  where  he  did  business  still 
stands  as  a  tribute  of  respect  to  departed  early  pioneerism. 


Among  those  who  came  to  St.  Paul  In  1843,  '^^'^s  the  sub- 
ject of  this  sketch,  who  was  born  in  Massachusetts  in  1794,  and 
who,  soon  after  arriving  here,  formed  a  co-partnership  with 
Henry  Jackson.  The  first  deed  on  record  in  this  county  was 
from  Jackson  to  Hartshorn,  for  ^1,000  for  three  acres,  lying  on 
the  Mississippi  river,  known  as  the  "  St.  Paul  Landing,"  now 
worth  probably  $300,000.  At  the  expiration  of  two  years 
Hartshorn  withdrew  from  the  firm  and  ran  a  fur  store  in  this 
city  as  well  as  several  other  fur  stores  outside.  He  finally  sold 
out  to  Randall,  Freeman  &  Larpenteur,  and  remov^ed  to  Still- 
water; tired  of  that  he  came  back  to  St.  Paul  and  entered 
business  again,  and  died,  January,  1865,  aged  seventy-one  years. 
A  writer  for  the  newspapers  of  that  day  speaks  of  him  as  fol- 
lows .  "  He  v/as  an  honest  and  pure-minded  man,  with  a  kind- 
ness of  heart  and  absence  of  guile  that  made  him  beloved  by  all. 
Though  at  times  well  off,  he  was  over-reached  to  an  extent  that 
kept  him  in  reduced  circumstances  all  of  his  life."  I  cheerfully 
add,  that  it  gives  me  pleasure  to  record  these  kind  words  of  one 
whose  memory  should  always  li\'e ;  not  for  any  great  act  achieved 
by  him,  or  for  his  money,  but  because  of  his  intrinsic  merits  as  a 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  87 

man.  The  world  is  full  of  animated,  pushing,  struggling  beings, 
but  very  few  men,  and  when  I  find  one,  like  Jack  Bunsby  in  the 
play,  I  propose  "  to  make  a  note  of  it." 

A.    L.    LARPENTEUR,    ONE    OF   TWENTY    LEFT. 

Mr.  L.  was  born  at  Baltimore,  Md.,  in  the  year  1823.  He 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  the  year  1843,  or  forty-two  years  ago,  and 
when  he  appeared  on  the  levee  with  a  stock  of  groceries  for  Mr. 
Hartshorn,  for  whom  he  subsequently  clerked,  three  hundred 
Indians  greeted  him  (or  rather  the  provisions,)  with  cheers. 
About  twelve  white  people  with  a  number  of  savages,  then  com- 
posed the  population  of  St.  Paul.  Mr.  Larpenteur  continued 
with  his  old  employer  until  Hartshorn  sold  to  Freeman, 
Larpenteur  &  Co.,  and  soon  after  he  entered  into  business  for 
himself,  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Jackson  streets,  opposite  the 
Merchants  hotel,  now  occupied  by  the  Hale  block.  He  was  at 
one  time  one  of  the  original  proprietors  of  the  town  site  of  St. 
Paul,  and  was  one  of  the  commissioners  who  entered  the  land 
upon  which  the  city  is  now  built.  In  1850  he  was  alderman  of 
the  City  Council  and  Treasurer  of  Ramsey  county.  He  speaks 
English,  French  and  Indian  well,  and  at  one  time  was  an  Indian 
interpreter.  Mr.  Larpenteur  is  now  doing  a  large  business  on 
Jackson  street,  and  is  the  father  of  ten  children,  and  his  oldest 
daughter  Rosa  was  the  first  white  female  child  born  in  St.  Paul 
in  1847. 


Mr.  Larpenteur  is  of  French  descent  and  consequently  is  all 
life  and  animation.  He  has  a  nervous,  sanguine  temperament  ; 
possesses  a  black,  piercing  eye  ,  is  of  medium  size  ;  always 
pleasant,  very  quick  ;  talks  quickly,  acts  quickly,  figures  quickly. 
Judging  from  what  he  now  is,  one  would  think  he  must  have 
been  ''  chain  lightning  "  when  young.  He  is  a  man  of  unbounded 
industry,  has  unerringly  maintained  his  love  for  trade,  and  is 
never  more  in  his  element  than  when  down  deep  in  business. 
Nobody  is  more  devoted  to  his  family  than  he,  and  at  his 
"  Anchorage,"  surrounded  with  the  comforts  of  a  pleasant  home 
just  outside  of  the  city  limits,  he  enjoys  in  his  leisure  moments 
all  the  pleasures   this  life  can  give.      Of  twenty  comparatively 


young  men  who  started  out  with  him  in  Hfe,  he  is  the  only  one 
left — all  are  dead.  He  is  among  the  very  oldest  of  the  old  set- 
tlers of  this  city,  indeed  is  the  oldest  living  in  1885,  and  although 
rising  sixty  years,  and  a  little  lame,  he  is  as  brisk  and  as  cheery 
and  as  animated  as  a  man  of  forty.  I  wish  him  many  more  years 
of  an  honored  life. 

Mr.  L.  married  Miss  Mary  J.  Presley,  sister  of  the  late  Bart- 
lett  Presley,  and  she  is  yet  a  vigorous  and  pleasant  lady,  having 
seen  a  great  deal  of  pioneer  life  and  a  great  many  changes,  and 
still  is  lovely  in  her  disposition  and  very  greatly  esteemed  by  all 
who  know  her. 


Scott  Campbell  had  a  mixture  of  Indian  and  Scotch  blood 
in  his  veins  and  married  a  half-breed  woman.  He  added  to  this 
an  appetite  for  drink,  and  although  he  was  an  interpreter  at  Fort 
Snelling  for  twenty-five  years,  and  was  employed  by  Steele,  Kitt- 
son and  others,  still  he  never  was  rich,  and  died  in  1850,  aged 
sixty  years.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1843,  and  his  log  house 
stood  on  Third  street,  just  above  Zimmerman's  gallery,  and  his 
claim  embraced  the  land  from  Wabasha  street  to  St.  Peter,  run- 
ning back  two  blocks.  His  wife  is  reported  to  have  been  a  good 
woman,  but  his  sons  grew  up  indifferently,  probably  the  reflex  of 
the  father's  character.  Two  were  hung ;  one  died  in  an  insane 
asylum.  Joseph  Campbell  is  a  worthy  man,  and  probably  all  the 
sons  would  have  been  better  if  they  had  been  surrounded  with 
different  circumstances  and  brought  up  under  different  influences, 
for  **  as  the  twig  is  bent  the  tree  's  incHned."  Early  examples, 
early  association,  early  education,  early  training,  have  much  to 
do  in  moulding  the  character  of  the  young,  and  if  the  Campbell 
boys  had  been  differently  situated  they  might  have  adorned  soci- 
ety as  good,  moral  citizens.  Scott  Campbell  was  a  man  of  some 
ability  and  with  all  his  faults  is  pleasantly  remembered  by  those 
who  knew  him. 

THE  OUTLOOK  IN  1 843 — 42  YEARS  AGO. 

At  the  time  I  record  the  events  of  1843,  St.  Paul  had  but 
three  or  four  log  houses,  with  a  population  not  to  exceed  twelve 
white  people,  and  was  a  mixture  of  forest,  hills,  running  brooks. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  39 

ravines,  bog  mires,  lakes,  whisky,  mosquitoes,  snakes  and  Indi- 
ans. One  could  scarcely  find  his  way  from  the  Merchants  hotel 
to  Wabasha  street,  so  thick  were  the  underbrush  and  trees,  and 
no  travel  could  go  much  beyond  Fourth  street  in  consequence  of 
the  swampy  condition  of  the  land.  A  fine  waterfall  was  visible 
just  where  the  Capitol  now  stands,  and  the  water  from  this  beau- 
tiful cascade  made  its  way  to  a  lake  on  Eighth  street,  near  the 
corner  of  Robert,  in  which  were  fish,  and  then  sought  the  river 
down  a  ravine  where  the  building  of  the  First  National  Bank  now 
stands.  It  was  in  fact  only  a  small  trading  post,  and  those  who 
came  here  then  had  no  more  idea  of  a  city  than  they  had  of 
crawling  to  heaven  on  a  sunbeam  !  But  few  are  left  of  the  early 
settlers  of  1843.  The  young  man  of  twenty-five  years  ago,  with 
black  hair,  bright  eyes,  unmeasured  energy,  is  an  old  man  now, 
Avith  gray  hair,  dreamy  eyes  and  tired  footsteps.  He  feels  the 
burden  of  his  years  and  plods  along  while  newer  and  younger 
elements  jostle  him  to  the  end  of  the  road  and  to  the  little  bridge 
over  which  he  soon  must  pass  to  that  better  land. 


Among  other  old  settlers  who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1843,  was 
Alexander  H.  McLeod,  son  of  a  Scotch  Canadian.  He  was  a 
man  of  great  physical  power,  and  it  is  related  of  him  that  he 
killed  his  antagonist  in  a  quarrel  by  a  blow  from  his  fist.  He 
has  the  honor  of  being  the  original  builder  of  the  old  Central 
house;  that  is,  he  built  a  square  log  cabin  on  the  site  where  it 
used  to  stand,  just  back  of  Mannheimer's  block,  on  Bench  street, 
and  from  time  to  time  additions  were  added  to  it  until  it  became 
quite  a  respectable  hotel,  and  in  the  years  1 849-50-51  was  used 
for  the  Territorial  Legislature.  At  an  early  day  he  was  employed 
by  the  American  Fur  Company;  clerked  for  Frank  Steele;  be- 
came a  soldier  in  the  Union  army,  and  died  in  1864  aged  forty- 
seven  years.  Previous  to  his  death  he  made  West  St.  Paul  his 
home,  where  I  believe  his  widow  now  resides. 


Then  came  along  David  Sloan,  who  married  a  sister  of  Hole- 
in-the-Day,  the  great  Chippewa  chief,  and  after  trading  and  rov- 
ing around  among  the  natives  of  the  forest  for  a  number  of  years, 


he  died  near  Crow  Wing.  Joseph  Desmarais  was  an  interpreter 
and  guide,  and  on  settling  in  St.  Paul  purchased  a  piece  of  prop- 
erty near  the  corner  of  Third  and  Jackson  streets,  probably  that 
which  is  now  known  as  the  Prince  block,  for  the  munificent  sum 
of  $50,  and  then  went  among  the  Indians,  with  whom  he  has  since 
made  his  home.  Then  Pepin,  and  Cloutier,  and  Gobin,  and  Lar- 
rivier,  and  Delonais,  all  Frenchmen,  drifted  into  the  little  hamlet, 
from  which  has  sprung  the  city  of  St.  Paul.  Larrivier  owned 
the  claim  upon  which  the  State  Capitol  now  stands,  but  the  poor 
fellow  could  not  see  far  enough  ahead  to  hold  on  to  it,  which,  at 
present  real  estate  retail  prices,  would  have  brought  him  about 
^500,000!  But  then,  he  is  just  as  happy  now,  for 

**  If  ignorance  is  bliss, 
'Tis  folly  to  be  wise." 


"The  Indians  were  very  troublesome  this  year  and  perpetually 
drunk.     One  day  Mrs.  Mortimer,  who  was  endeavoring  to  close 
out  her  stock  of  goods  belonging  to  her  late  husband,  was  in  her 
house  when  an  Indian  stalked  in  and  seeing  a  camphor  bottle 
standing  on  a  shelf,  took  a  deep  swig,  supposing  it  was  whisky. 
As  soon  as  he  detected  the  nauseous  taste,  he  gave  a  grunt  of 
rage  and  seizing  a  measure,  turned  some  vinegar  into  it  from  a 
barrel,  supposing  that  also  was  whisky.    He  dashed  down  a  heavy 
draught  of  it  without  stopping  to  taste  it.     Mrs.  Mortimer  saw 
the  storm  coming  and  fled  for  safety  to  Mr.  Irvine's  house,  pur- 
sued a  moment  after  by  the  infuriated  Indian,  with  uplifted  toma- 
hawk, but  Irvine  disarmed  him  and  sent  him  off.      The  Indian 
had  left  the  vinegar  running,  however,  and  the  whole  of  it  was 
gone  when  Mrs.  Mortimer  returned." — Williams. 

FIRST    meat    market. 

The  first  meat  market  was  opened  this  year  by  a  Frenchman 
named  Gerou. 


Mr.  FurncU  was  born  in  New  Hampshire  in  1817;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1 843 ;  was  engaged  for  several  years  as  a  teamster ; 
made  the  original  claim  of  the  old  Larpenteur  farm  on  the  St.  An- 
thony road,  consisting  of  160  acres  ;  broke  and  cultivated  10  acres ;. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  41 

held  it  three  years,  when  he  sold  it  to  Lot  Moffett  for  $iOO ;  worth 
now  ;^ 1 2 5,000;  purchased  two  acres  on  Seventh  street,  on  part  of 
which  stands  the  residence  of  Robert  Smith,  Esq.,  for  twenty 
dollars;  worth  now  ^$50,000.  Mr.  Furnell  is  a  tall,  thin,  emaci- 
ated man,  with  spectacles,  and  his  health  has  been  greatly  im- 
paired by  a  nervous  disease.  He  has  seen  a  great  deal  of  trou- 
ble but  is  an  honest,  upright,  honorable  man. 



First  American  Female  Child  horn  in  Minnesota — First  Frame  House — First  Prot- 
estant Service — First  Grist  and  Saw  Mills, 

EVENTS    AND    MEN    OF    1 844. 

The  first  American  female  child  born  in  the  Territory  of  Min- 
nesota, was  Miss  Cleopatra  Irvine,  now  the  wife  of  Richard  Gor- 
man, Esq.,  born  in  St.  Paul  in  1844.  Mrs.  Gorman  is  a  splendid 
looking  woman  and  as  good  as  she  looks — a  fine  type  of  a  beau- 
tiful Minnesota  lady. 


Capt.  Robert  was  born  in  Missouri  in  181 1 ;  died  in  St.  Paul 
in  1874,  aged  sixty-three  years.  He  was  a  peculiar  yet  marked 
character,  inheriting  an  iron  constitution  from  Canadian  parent- 
age, and  in  early  life  possessed  an  uncontrolable  desire  to  travel, 
which  he  satisfied  very  thoroughly  on  the  upper  Missouri  and 


also  on  the  Mississippi,  trafficking  in  furs  and  trading  generally 
with  the  Indians.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1844,  and  in  1847 
was  one  of  the  original  proprietors  of  the  town,  purchasing  part 
of  the  land  of  Ben  Gervais  for  $300,  including  the  land  upon 
which  the  present  high  school  building  now  stands ;  commenced 
trading  with  the  Indians ;  took  a  prominent  part  in  the  Stillwater 
convention  of  1848  for  the  organization  of  our  Territory;  urged 
the  location  of  the  Capitol  at  St.  Paul  ;  was  at  one  time  a  county 
commissioner  ;  also  a  building  commissioner  ;  was  very  liberal, 
especially  to  the  church ;  gave  real  estate  and  money  to  this  end; 
and  the  bells  of  both  the  French  Catholic  Church  and  the  Cathe- 
dral, as  they  ring  out  their  musical  tones,  tell  of  the  generosity 
of  Capt.  Louis  Robert. 


In  the  early  days  he  noticed  the  great  inconvenience  caused 
by  steamboats  leaving  some  considerable  time  before  the  close 
of  navigation  in  the  fall,  to  engage  in  the  southern  trade,  and  re- 
turning to  St.  Paul  again  late  in  the  spring,  so  to  obviate  this 
difficulty  he  repaired  to  St.  Louis  and  bought  a  boat  of  his  own 
called  the  Greek  Slave,  at  a  cost  of  ;^20,ooo.  He  became  cap- 
tain and  subsequently  purchased  other  boats,  one  named  after 
his  beautiful  daughter,  Jennie,  who  subsequently  married  Uri 
Lamprey,  Esq.  At  one  time  he  was  the  owner  of  five  steam- 

"  DEY   SHALL    BE    FREE ! " 

It  is  said  of  him  that  when  he  went  before  a  magistrate  to 
convey  some  lots  to  a  purchaser,  he  was  told  that  it  was  neces- 
sary to  have  them  **  bounded  " — that  is,   measured — when  he 

broke  out,    "  You  tinks  I  be  a  d Jew  !    My  lots  bonded ! — 

never  !  Dey  shall  be  free !  "  At  the  first  Fourth  of  July  celebra- 
tion in  1849,  in  a  grove  of  trees  which  stood  in  front  of  the  pres- 
ent city  hall.  Judge  Meeker,  now  dead,  gave  the  oration,  and  W. 
D.  Phillips  read  the  Declaration  of  Independence.  Capt.  Robert 
listened  very  attentively  to  both  productions,  and  at  the  conclu- 
sion pronounced  Phillips'  speech  the  better  of  the  two,  and  in 
view  of  the  fact  that  the  captain's  early  education  had  been  sadly 
neglected,  this  nice  discrimination  only  showed  the  real  merits 
of  the  man's  mind.     He  was  a  great  lover  of  liberty. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MIXN,  43 


Capt.  Robert  was  not  only  a  strong  business  man  but  a  -man 
of  great  sagacity.  During  the  Indian  attack  he  was  pursued  by 
the  savages,  who  were  determined  to  take  his  Hfe,  but  the  captain 
dodged  his  enemies,  and  finally  crawling  into  a  swamp,  lay  there 
for  a  considerable  time  with  his  whole  body  hid  in  the  mire  and 
his  nose  just  above  the  water.  The  Indians  were  outwitted  and 
Robert  lived  to  see  many  of  them  hung  and  the  balance  driven 
from  the  State. 

AS    I    REMEMBER    HIM. 

Capt.  Robert  was  a  tall,  muscular  man,  with  strong  features; 
decided  convictions  ;  great  energy  ;  excellent  business  qualities ; 
and  was  a  born  leader  of  men.  He  never  followed ;  he  always 
led,  and  as  captain  of  a  steamboat  he  was  in  one  of  his  best  ele- 
ments. His  face  was  massive,  and  there  was  a  great  tenacity  of 
expression  in  his  countenance,  and  yet  he  was  kind,  and  liberal, 
and  social,  but  never  losing  sight  of  the  main  chance — business  ! 
Whatever  he  did,  was  done  earnestly,  vigorously,  energetically. 
In  politics  he  was  a  power.  During  the  years  1853-4-5  and  sub- 
sequently, he  controlled  the  French  vote,  and  then  he  had  shrewd- 
ness enough  to  make  an  alliance  with  a  man  of  those  days  who 
controlled  the  Irish  vote,  and  between  the  two  they  always  came 
out  of  the  battle  with  a  Democratic  victory.  Wm.  P.  Murray 
was  Robert's  lawyer  and  confidential  adviser,  and  Robert  was 
Murray's  friend;  so  when  their  political  victory  had  been  gained 
they  would  sit  down  together  and  laugh  heartily  over  the  means 
which  had  been  employed  to  accomplish  their  ends.  Murray  is 
at  present  city  attorney,  and  has  not  yet  quite  forgotten  the  early 
lessons  in  politics  taught  him  by  Robert,  and  yet,  if  the  truth  were 
known,  Murray  was  the  teacher  and  Robert  the  pupil !  After 
lingering  several  months  with  an  aggravated  cancer,  Capt.  Louis 
Robert  died  May  10,  1874,  very  generally  lamented,  leaving  be- 
hind him  a  property  worth  ^500,000,  now  valued  up  into  the 


Another  Canadian  Frenchman  by  the  name  of  Bazille,  born 
in  181 2,  came  to  St.  Paul  in    1844  and  erected  the  first  frame 


house  on  the  corner  of  Jackson  street  and  the  levee,  where  the 
old  passenger  depot  of  the  Chicago,  Milwaukee  &  St.  Paul  Rail- 
road Company  used  to  stand.  Bazille  was  a  carpenter  by  trade 
and  built  other  houses  and  also  the  first  mill  in  this  city.  He 
also  opened  and  ran  a  brickyard  on  the  Como  road.  He  pur- 
chased part  of  a  claim  now  including  the  Capitol  grounds  and 
running  back  over  Wabasha  hill,  at  present  worth  $2,000,000  or 
;$3,ooo,ooo.  He,  jointly  with  Vetal  Guerin,  gave  the  block  upon 
which  the  Capitol  building  now  stands,  to  the  United  States, 
which  subsequently  became  the  property  of  the  State.  He  really 
had  so  much  land  he  did  not  know  what  to  do  with  it,  and  plac- 
ing no  value  upon  it,  gave  it  away  almost  indiscriminately,  so 
that  in  his  declining  years  he  was  poor.  He  married  a  Miss 
Perry  and  was  the  brother-in-law  of  Vetal  Guerin. 


Bazille  erected  the  first  grist  and  lumber  mill  in  this  city  or 
State,  on  Phelan  creek,  but  as  the  logs  did  not  come  down  and  as 
the  wheat  did  not  come  up  because  it  never  had  been  sown,  it 
proved  a  failure.  The  160  acres  on  this  creek  then  cost  3/0; 
sold  in  1846,  with  improvements  for  $S;^S  j  ^vorth  now  about 
$  1 ,000,000.  William  Dugas  owned  this  mill,  but  he  subsequently 
settled  in  Little  Canada. 

AS    I    KNEW    HIM. 

Charles  Bazille  was  French  all  over;  an  honest  man.  He 
was  short  in  stature,  quickly  spoken,  and  full  of  kindness.  He 
struggled  through  a  long  series  of  years,  and  died,  I  think,  in 
1878,  seven  years  ago,  much  respected  by  all  who  knew  him. 


William  Dugas,  Francis  McCoy  and  Joseph  Hall  came  to 
the  city  in  the  year  1844,  but  as  they  did  not  make  valuable 
claims  and  then  lose  them,  (I  refer  to  the  two  latter,)  as  all  the 
other  old  settlers  did,  I  do  not  deem  them  worthy  of  extended 
notices ;  yet  they  were  good  men,  carpenters  by  trade,  and  saved 
themselves  a  great  deal  of  trouble  by  letting  the  land  alone. 


Phelan  took  a  claim  in  upper  town,  then  in  lov/er  town,  then 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  43 

at  Phelan  lake,  then  on  Prospect  hill,  then  the  ground  formerly 
owned  by  Edmund  Rice,  and  then  he  skipped  to  California.  He 
grabbed  up  some  five  claims  before  he  left,  or  about  800  acres 
of  land,  and  if  he  had  only  held  on  to  all  he  grabbed  what  a 
genius  he  would  have  been !  How  moneyed  men  would  have 
taken  off  their  hats  and  bowed  to  him,  and  invited  him  into  their 
parlors,  and  sipped  wine  with  him,  and  hob-nobbed  over  bank 
counters  !  He  was  a  good  deal  like  the  Irishman  who  let  go  his 
hold  to  spit  on  his  hands — he  lost  all !  But  history  will  do  him 
credit ;  he  was  not  the  murderer  of  Hays,  (so  said  Thompson,) 
and  he  can  point  his  long,  bony,  ghastly  finger  at  his  traducers 
and  exclaim — "  Thou  canst  not  say  /  did  it ! "  and  Do-wau,  in 
spirit,  will  respond,  Amen. 


Rev.  Mr.  Hurlbut,  a  Methodist  missionary,  held  service  at 
the  house  of  Henry  Jackson  some  time  in  the  fall  of  1844. 


Charles  Reed,  a  young  Canadian  Englishman,  wandered  off 
in  a  snow  storm  and  his  body  was  found  in  a  swamp  near  Lake 
Como.  The  discovery  was  made  by  a  little  girl  who  saw  a  dog 
gnawing  a  man's  head,  which  proved  to  be  that  of  Reed. 


This  year  Father  Galtier  was  transferred  to  another  field  of 
labor,  and  Rev.  Ravoux  took  his  place. 


Peter  Patwell  was  a  burly  Frenchman  and  was  the  first 
drayman  in  the  city.  At  the  time  of  the  Indian  fight  near  the 
Merchants  hotel,  he  was  standing  upon  his  dray  when  he  heard 
a  shot,  and  the  moment  he  saw  the  Indians  and  heard  a  second 
shot,  he  put  the  whip  on  to  his  horse  and  yelled  worse  than  the 
savages  themselves,  and  he  and  his  team  dashed  along  the  street 
like  a  streak  of  lightning,  the  horse  on  a  terrible  gallop,  Patwell 
yelling  and  applying  the  whip !  The  Indians  cried  out — "  Oonk- 
to-mee,  a  bad  spirit ;  or,  the  Devil  on  wheels,"  and  as  the 
Frenchman  thought   the    Devil   was    after   him,  he  yelled    the 


louder  and  beat  his  horse  the  harder,  until  he  found  himself  safe 
in  a  thick  wood  and  underbrush  near  the  corner  of  Third  and 
Cedar  streets,  and  here  he  had  ample  time  to  realize  the  fact  that 
so  far  as  the  whites  were  concerned  this  was  only — a  scare !  Mr. 
Patwell  was  born  in  Canada  in  1807 ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1844, 
and  carried  on  draying ;  removed  to  Stillwater  in  1 868.  His  son 
Peter,  named  after  him,  lived  in  Stillwater  and  dealt  in  cigars ; 
kept  a  restaurant,  etc.  He  is  a  small  man,  quick  in  his  move- 
ments and  decided  in  his  ways.  During  the  Indian  outbreak  he 
was  shot  through  the  lungs  and  thus  wounded  walked  a  long 
way  to  St.  Cloud.     He  has  a  brother  now  in  this  city. 



First  School— First  Hotel— First  Odd  Fellows  Funeral— First  Cooper. 


I  find  nothing  of  importance  to  record  during  the  year  1845, 
except  the  opening  of  a  day  school  temporarily  by  Miss  Rum- 
sey,  which  was  in  a  log  house  that  stood  near  the  upper  levee, 
but  it  was  continued  only  a  short  time  as  she  married  a  Mr. 
Megee  and  the  building  was  closed ;  but  this  was  no  doubt  the 
first  school  opened  in  the  place.  Possibly  there  might  have  been 
some    twenty  families  in  St.  Paul  at  this  time,  not  more  than 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  47 

three  or  four  of  whom  were  white.  There  were  some  five  or  six 
traders,  and  steamboats  came  occasionally ;  and  although  the 
houses  were  considerably  scattered  yet  "  it  was  a  place  not  to  be 
sneezed  at."  Of  course  most  of  the  population  were  Canadian 
French,  and  these  were  intermarried  with  the  native  race,  or 
Indians.  An  accession  of  this  class  of  people  (French)  was 
made  this  year  in  the  persons  of  Caviler,  Francis  Robert,  (brother 
of  Louis,)  David  Benoit,  L.  H.  La  Roche,  F.  Chenevert,  and  two 
Americans,  Augustus  and  David  Freeman.  W.  G.  Carter,  or  as 
he  was  called,  "  Gib  "  Carter,  lived  on  the  Fort  road  and  died 
there  in  1852.     He  came  from  Virginia. 


La  Roche  purchased  the  real  estate  now  covered  by  the 
Merchants  hotel  in  the  year  1844,  for  about  ;^I50,  and  upon  it 
erected  a  log  tavern  in  1845,  which  was  then  known  as  the  "  St. 
Paul  House."  This  property  was  subsequently  sold  to  S.  P. 
Folsom,  and  then  to  J.  W.  Bass,  and  out  of  this  small  beginning 
has  grown  the  present  Merchants,  once  run  by  Col.  Belote,  then 
by  Col.  Shaw,  and  now  by  Col.  Allen.  "  St.  Paul  House,"  in 
1845,  value,  house  and  land,  at.;^25o;  Merchants  hotel,  1884, 
value,  house,  land  and  furniture,  $500,000!  ! 


These  gentlemen  were  connected  at  one  time  with  Hartshorn 
and  also  with  Larpenteur.  David  B.  died  from  over-exertion  in 
attempting  to  overtake  a  runaway  team  which  got  loose  from 
him  on  the  Stillwater  road,  and  was  buried  by  the  Odd  Fellows, 
the  first  funeral  of  this  character  which  occurred  in  Minnesota. 
The  Freemans  were  good  men,  but  like  nearly  all  the  settlers  of 
that  day  they  have  long  since  gone  to  their  final  homes. 


Mr.  Cavilier  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1845  ;  was  a  saddler  by 
trade  ;  carried  on  the  business  in  the  city  for  some  time,  but 
finally  went  into  the  drug  trade  with  Dr.  Dewey  ;  was  territorial 
librarian  for  several  months,  and  shortly  after  took  up  his  resi- 
dence at  Pembina,  where  at  last  account  he  still  resides.  He  was 
connected  with  the  Methodist  Mission  at  Red  Rock,  and  was  an 
earnest  member. 


And  thus  by  gradual  steps  I  approach  nearer  to  the  city  of 
to-day  and  to  the  greater  city  which  is  to  be. 


Charles  Rouleau  and  Joseph  Monteur  were  Canadian  French- 
men who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1845.  Rouleau  was  the  first  cooper 
in  the  city.     Monteur  was  the  first  blacksmith. 


Mr.  Rouleau  was  born  in  Canada  in  1807,  and  is  conse- 
quently seventy-eight  years  old.'  He  came  west  in  1829,  or  fifty- 
six  years  ago,  and  was  in  the  employ  of  the  American  Fur  Com- 
pany for  nine  years,  or  three  terms  ;  was  mail  carrier  from  Point 
Douglas  to  Taylor's  Falls  in  1844;  lived  at  St.  Croix  and  re- 
moved to  St.  Paul  in  1845.  His  family  consisted  of  fourteen 
children,  eight  of  whom  are  still  living.  A  carpenter  by  trade 
he  was  the  first  cooper  in  the  city ;  made  casks  for  the  govern- 
ment ;  hewed  the  logs  for  the  first  hotel — "  The  St.  Paul  House," 
— later  worked  for  the  Lamb  Brothers,  but  is  now  living  upon  the 
weight  of  his  years.  He  also  built  the  first  ferry  boat  at  Anoka 
and  also  the  old  ferry  house  at  Fort  Snelling ;  made  the  first  bar- 
rels in  the  State,  and  labored  in  the  saw  mill  of  John  S.  Prince. 
He  now  resides  with  a  married  daughter  in  an  humble  dwelling 
in  the  Sixth  ward,  or  West  St.  Paul. 

PERSONAL    mention. 

I  visited  Mr.  Rouleau  only  a  short  time  since.  He  is  a 
bright,  cheery  old  man,  about  medium  height,  clear  eyes,  thin 
face,  yet  sprightly  and  polite.  He  is  pleasant  in  conversation  and 
philosophical  in  his  conclusions.  Of  course  he  has  endured  many 
hardships  and  has  seen  many  changes.  Last  year  he  visited 
Montreal  for  the  first  time  in  fifty-four  years,  and  in  response  to 
my  question — "  How  many  old  friends  did  you  meet  there  ?  "  he 
responded — '*  Three !  all  the  rest  are  dead."  While  absent  on 
his  visit  he  met  a  sister  102  years  old.  She  was  blind,  and  deaf, 
and  bent  over,  yet  she  could  sing  well,  and  did  sing  for  him. 
"Oh,  I  don't  want  to  live  so  long!"  he  said,  with  a  sorrowful 
tone,  "  we  be  so  much  trouble."  This  aged  sister  has  since  died. 
One  of  his  daughters,  aged  forty  years,  now  the  mother  of  a  fam- 

OF  ST.  FA  UL,  MIXX.  49 

ily,  said  she  could  scarcely  realize  that  when  a  little  girl  she  used 
to  attend  school  in  the  log  hut  which  then  stood  on  Bench  street, 
and  yet  such  was  the  fact.  Mr.  Rouleau  is  a  pleasant  man  and 
a  good  deal  of  a  philosopher.  Judging  from  what  I  saw  of  him 
he  throws  out  rays  of  sunshine  wherever  he  goes,  and  I  trust  he 
may  live  long  to  enjoy  a  more  serene  and  genial  old  age.  He 
died  Oct.  5,  1885. 


This  is  a  son  of  Mr.  Rouleau  of  whom  I  have  been  writing. 
He  was  born  in  St.  Paul  in  1845,  ^^  forty  years  ago,  and  was  in 
the  lumbering  business  from  the  age  of  eighteen  years  up  to 
1 87 1,  since  which  time  he  has  been  on  the  police  force  of  the  city 
of  St.  Paul,  and  ranks  among  the  oldest  members — No.  5.  He 
is  an  excellent  specimen  of  a  well-preserved  physical  man  ;  large, 
well  proportioned,  with  a  fine,  clear  complexion,  indicating  so- 
briety, and  is  one  of  the  best  officers  on  the  force. 


First  Postoffice — First  Postmaster — First  Painter — First  Artist— First  River  Boat, 



In  1 846  St.  Paul  was  dignified  into  one  of  the  "  points  "  on 
the  river,  for  the  trade  of  the  place  had  then  become  of  sufficient 
importance  to  induce  steamboats  to  land  and  discharge  consider- 
able freight  here. 


Henry  Jackson,  to  whom  I  have  repeatedly  alluded,  was  an 

important  man  in  the  days  in   which   he  lived.     He  acted  by 

general  consent  of  the  people  as   postmaster,  and   as   has  been 

hitherto  described,  all  the  letters   in  his  possession  were  either 


thrown  down  on  the  counter  or  into  a  box,  and  each  one  picked 
out  those  that  belonged  to  him.  Finally,  on  the  strength  of  a 
petition  from  the  settlers,  an  office  was  established  by  the  depart- 
ment at  Washington,  April  7,  1846,  and  Jackson  received  his 
commission  as  postmaster  the  same  date.  The  first  material 
postoffice  as  made  by  Jackson,  consisted  of  a  rough  box  with 
sixteen  pigeon  holes,  and  this  original  St.  Paul  Postoffice  is  now 
preserved  among  the  relics  of  the  State  Historical  Society. 
Nothing  so  clearly  shows  the  growth  of  this  city  as  the 
comparative  merits  of  the  postoffice  of  1 846  and  the  postoffice 
building  of  1885!  The  original  one  is  worth  about  $2;  the 
other  cost  the  government  over  ;^50o,ooo !  But  Jehu !  didn't 
Jackson  feel  big  when  he  received  that  commission !  He  was 
already  landlord,  merchant,  saloon-keeper,  justice  of  the  peace, 
politician,  etc.,  and  now,  when  Uncle  Sam  put  such  a  feather  in 
his  cap,  he  felt  as  though  his  cup  of  happiness  was  overflowing, 
although  he  had  sense  enough  not  to  show  his  exuberant 
feeling.  He  was  a  popular  man  in  his  day  and  did  much  to 
advance  the  early  growth  of  the  city. 


This  gentleman  was  born  in  Massachusetts  in  1806;  trans- 
acted business  in  New  York  for  several  years ;  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1846,  or  thirty-nine  years  ago,  and  died  in  1861,  aged  55 
years.  He  succeeded  Mr.  Hartshorn  in  trade  here,  and  having 
brought  considerable  money  with  him  he  invested  largely  in  real 
estate,  which  is  now  very  valuable,  worth  not  less  than  ^5,000,- 
000.  He  was  a  public-spirited  citizen,  liberal,  kind  hearted,  and 
had  unbounded  faith  in  the  growth  of  St.  Paul. 


No  one  person  I  remember  more  disti-nctly  than  the  man 
whose  name  heads  this  article.  He  was  a  fine,  gentlemanly^ 
courteous  citizen,  a  hail  fellow  well  met,  genial  and  generous. 
At  the  time  I  first  saw  him,  in  1853,  he  was  the  "  biggest  man  in 
town."  He  had  various  vehicles  and  drivers,  any  number  of 
horses,  dealt  largely  in  real  estate,  and  his  note  was  good  almost 
anywhere  for  almost  any  amount.  Some  of  the  property  he 
then  owned  in  this  city  is  now  worth  untold  thousands,  I  might 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINX.  51 

say  millions.  He  builded  well,  he  planned  well.  But  "  man 
proposes,  God  disposes;"  and  so,  just  in  the  midst  of  his  pro- 
spective gains,  the  great  crash  of  1857  came,  and  his  property, 
being  mortgaged,  w^ent  down  and  he  went  with  it.  Mr.  Randall 
was  a  man  of  fine  business  qualities,  honest  in  purpose  and 
manly  in  act.  Were  he  alive  to-day  and  the  possessor  of  the 
real  estate  in  this  city  which  he  once  owned,  he  would  be  the 
richest  man  in  St.  Paul.  Litigation  followed  his  death,  and  two 
sons,  who  ought  to  be  w^ell  off,  are  paddling  their  own  canoes 
and  buffeting  life's  waves;  and  so  goes  the  see-saw  board  of 
destiny — one  is  up  while  the  other  is  down.  Teeter-taunter ! 
teeter-taunter !  teeter-taunter ! 

In  personal  appearance  Mr.  Randall  was  of  medium  size, 
with  a  florid  complexion,  and  always  finely  dressed.  He  invari- 
ably carried  a  gold-headed  cane  and  his  movements  on  the  street 
were  of  an  energetic  character.  He  had  a  soft,  pleasant  voice, 
and  winning  ways,  and  was  always  polite.  He  was  social  among 
his  friends,  generous  to  their  wants,  and  yet  wide-awake  for  bus- 
iness. We  might  say,  he  was  the  advance  courier  of  gentlemanly 
culture  and  true  civilization. 


Occupying  a  pleasant  niche  upon  the  bluff  and  overlooking 
one  of  the  finest  scenes  in  the  Sixth  ward,  or  West  St.  Paul,  is 
the  rude  log  house  of  Thomas  Odell,  which  was  erected  in  1850, 
or  35  years  ago,  and  is  therefore  the  oldest  building  in  that  sec- 
tion of  the  city.  This  was  while  the  land  on  the  West  side  of 
the  river  belonged  to  the  Indians,  and  the  store  was  used  as  a  trad- 
ing post.  Odell  was  born  in  New  York ;  was  a  soldier ;  came 
to  Fort  Snelling  in  1 841 ;  mustered  out  in  1845  >  removed  to  St. 
Paul  in  1 846,  and  helped  survey  the  town  plat  in  1 847.  He  died 
from  the  effects  of  a  cancer  only  a  few  years  ago. 

MRS.  odell. 

The  widow  of  the  subject  of  my  sketch  still  lives  in  the 
Sixth  ward,  having  recently  parted  with  the  old  homestead  for 
a  new  one.  She  is  a  woman  about  fifty  years  of  age,  somewhat 
fleshy,  her  mother  being  a  full-blooded  Indian ;  her  father.  Lieu- 
tenant Williams,  formerly  in  the  army.     She  has  been  married 


thirty-seven  years  and  has  Hved  in  West  St.  Paul  thirty-four 
years.  Her  mother  married  John  Thompson,  the  former  slave, 
and  both  are  now  dead. 

"  MARSH  ON  !  " 

What  a  trio!  Thompson  eighty-five  years  old,  fifty-seven 
years  in  and  about  St.  Paul;  Mrs.  Thompson  seventy  years  old 
and  seventy  years  a  resident  of  this  section  of  country;  Mrs. 
Odell,  her  daughter,  fifty  years  old  and  fifty  years  a  resident. 
What  changes  have  transpired  in  the  lives  of  these  three  people ! 
One  race — the  Indians — has  passed  out  entirely.  Part  of  another 
race — the  old  settlers — has  gone  ! — while  a  new  race,  embodying 
pluck,  and  vim,  and  energy,  and  enterprise,  and  push,  and  dar- 
ing, and  money,  confront  these  antiquarians  and  confuse  them 
with  the  introduction  of  modern  ideas!  The  Indian  who  leads 
the  advance  on  the  war-path,  says  :  **  Marsh-on  !  "  go-ahead  1 
Old  Time  says  in  English,  "  March-on  ! " 


In  the  early  career  of  St.  Paul  one  of  the  most  eventful 
days  was  the  arrival  of  from  1 50  to  200  wooden  carts,  laden  with 
furs  from  Pembina,  900  miles  distant,  and  drawn  by  oxen  har- 
nessed singly.  There  was  no  iron  about  these  carts  and  they 
were  always  accompanied  by  half-breeds  who  were  fantasticall}' 
dressed.  The  furs  were  exchanged  for  provisions  and  the  old 
carts,  having  creaked  into  the  city,  creaked  out  again,  and  the 
good  people  waited  patiently  for  another  cavalcade  to  make  its 
appearance.  The  old  Red  river  house,  where  these  prairie  voy- 
ageurs-  used  to  stop,  stood  on  Governor  Ramsey's  farm,  now 
Grand  avenue,  (upper  part.)  The  event  in  modern  days  is  the 
arrival  of  a  circus,  or  more  properly,  the  opening  of  the  North- 
ern Pacific  Railroad.  In  the  past  the  cry  was, — *'  Wait  for  the 
Red  river  carts,"  or  "  until  after  the  pa)'ment  to  the  Indians." 
Now  it  is, — "  Wait  until  the  wheat  is  cut,"  and  the  further  cry  is, 
"  Wait  until  the  wheat  is  sold,"  and  some  of  us,  and  most  of  us, 
having  waited  all  these  long  years  without  reaHzing  a  fortune,  or, 
having  realized  a  fortune,  lost  it,  are  now  waiting  for  the  great 
Reaper — death  !  and  he  is  coming,  surely  coming,  for  he  has  no 
partiality  for  the  human  race  and  is  no  respecter  of  persons !  The 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  .         53 

thinned  ranks  of  the  old  settlers  show  that  he  has  been  among 
them  already,  and  we  can  hear  him  chuckle  over  the  victory  he 
has  made  as  he  rattles  his  scythe  among  the  gray  heads  and  fee- 
ble limbs  and  laughs  as  he  sings  :  "  I  gather  them  in  !  I  gather 
them  in ! " 

N.  W.  Kittson,  Esq.,  seems  to  have  been  the  originator  of 
the  Red  river  trade,  and  he  was  followed  by  Joe  Rolette  and 
his  uncle  of  Pembina. 


From  all  I  can  learn  James  McClellan  Boal  was  the  first 
artist,  who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1846.  He  was  at  onetime  mem- 
ber of  the  Territorial  Legislature,  Adjutant  General  and  member 
of  the  House  of  Representatives  in  1852.  He  was  a  peculiar 
character,  very  generous,  and  his  generosity  led  him  to  poverty. 
He  died  at  Mendota  in  1862. 


Louis  Denoyer,  H.  D.  White  and  J.  D.  Cruttenden  were  at 
one  period  residents  of  St.  Paul,  but  they  remained  here  only  a 
short  time.  There  is  nothing  notable  in  their  histories,  and 
nothing  that  would  interest  the  general  reader. 


Built  the  New  England  House  in  1847  ^^  ground  formerly 
occupied  by  the  office  of  the  Gas  Company,  on  P^ast  Third  street, 
but  was  a  resident  of  St.  Paul  in  1 846.  He  was  one  of  the  early 
Indian  traders.  John  Banfill  remained  in  the  city  only  a  short 
time  and  then  removed  to  Manomin  on  the  upper  Mississippi, 
where  he  kept  a  hotel.  The  place  was  better  known  as  "  Rice 


About  one  mile  from  Bridge  Square,  on  the  West  side  of  the 
river  and  overlooking  the  greater  portion  of  our  now  busy  city, 
is  a  story  and  a  half  house,  the  late  residence  of  Henry  Belland. 
Mr.  Belland  was  born  in  Canada  in  the  year  18 16,  and  was  sixty- 
nine  years  old  when  he  died;  came  to  Minnesota  in  1836,  or 
forty-eight  years  ago  ;  lived  in  Pig's  Eye  in  1 840,  on  a  claim  he 
bought  of  Parrant;  resided  at  Crow  Wing  one  year,  at  Mendota 


four  years  and  on  the  West  Side  for  thirty-nine  years,  or  since 
1846.  Was  married  at  Lac  Qui  Parle  in  1839,  (wife  living;)  was 
employed  for  a  long  time  by  the  American  Fur  Company,  and 
worked  for  Gen.  Sibley  sixteen  years.  He  acted  as  a  guide  and 
interpreter  for  the  government  nearly  a  quarter  of  a  century,  and 
was  with  General  Custer  in  his  first  campaign ;  also  with  Gen- 
erals Pope  and  Terry,  and  for  eleven  years  was  employed  at 
Fort  Totten.  He  was  also  a  trader  for  Major  Forbes  at  Red 
Wood  Falls,  and  was  on  his  way  to  that  point  when  the  Indians 
made  their  outbreak,  and  in  the  fight  killed  his  brother.  He 
built  a  log  house  on  the  bluff  on  the  West  side  of  the  river,  on  a 
claim  which  he  made  of  160  acres  of  land,  thirty-nine  years  ago, 
and  at  that  time  he  told  me,  looking  towards  St.  Paul,  everything 
was  a  forest,  so  dense  that  just  in  front  of  his  house  he  could  hear 
the  cackle  of  his  neighbor's  chickens  although  he  could  not  see 
his  residence.  The  only  houses  visible  from  his  dwelling  was 
one  on  Robert  street  and  another  at  the  base  of  Dayton's  bluff. 
Now  we  have  a  city  of  1 20,000  people. 


He  happened  to  be  near  Fort  Ridgely  at  the  time  the 
Indians  had  surrounded  that  place,  and  to  save  his  life  he  hid  in 
the  bushes  close  to  where  the  Indians  came  and  tied  their  ponies, 
and  finally  he  and  his  companion,  by  the  name  of  Le  Clair,  trav- 
eled four  days,  he  not  tasting  a  particle  of  food  during  that 
period.  In  his  wanderings  he  came  across  a  hut  inhabited  by 
white  men,  who  had  thus  secreted  themselves  outside  of  civiliza- 
tion to  avoid  the  draft.  Notwithstanding  he  was  on  the  best  of 
terms  with  the  Indians,  yet  had  they  met  him  they  would  have 
killed  him,  for  when  they  have  once  declared  war  against  the 
whites  it  is  rare  that  a  life  is  ever  spared ;  and  this  fact  so  well 
known  by  those  who  understand  Indian  character,  only  make 
the  noble  acts  of  Chaska  shine  out  in  resplendent  colors  over 
the  dusky  forms  of  the  Indian  race. 


Mr.  Belland  had  sharp,  heavy  features,  showing  him  to  have 
been  a  man  of  great  endurance,  exceedingly  cautious  and  very 
trustworthy.     He   was   a  little  above  five  feet  high,  somewhat 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  55 

'broad  across  the  shoulders,  and  possessed  well  developed 
muscles.  His  hair  was  gray,  and  he  was  tremulous  and  deaf, 
and  unable  to  perform  any  work,  the  result  of  an  attack  of  a 
paralytic  stroke,  which  had  confined  him  to  his  house  since 
1878.  He  was  a  venerable  man,  and  delighted  to  relate  his 
•  experience  in  the  great  Northwest  during  a  period  of  near  half  a 
century.     He  died  January  ii,  1885,  aged  69  years. 


His  little,  unpretentious  house  now  stands  upon  five  lots,  all 
that  is  left  of  a  claim  of  160  acres,  which,  if  he  had  retained 
them,  would  have  brought  him  to-day  ^100,000!  But  then  he 
is  no  bigger  fool  than  many  others ;  indeed,  we  are  all  fools  so 
far  as  even  comprehending  the  shadow  of  what  is  to  be;  if  we 
were  not  fools  in  this  respect  we  would  all  be  millionaires,  and 
that  would  make  us  all  lunatics,  so  in  the  end  perhaps  it  is  just 
as  well  to  be  fools!  Vanderbilt  and  Gould  can't  take  their 
untold  millions  with  them,  and  they  toil  like  galley  slaves  to 
retain  what  they  have,  so  that  he  who  enjoys  life  serenely,  walks 
uprightly,  fears  nobody,  culls  from  nature  sparkling  enjoyment, 
is  kind,  generous  and  honest,  although  in  moderate  circum- 
stances, really  occupies  a  higher  place  upon  the  throne  of 
contentment  than  the  millions  delving  in  the  hot  cauldron  of 
business,  all  eager  to  grasp  the  golden  bubbles  that  float  away 
■  on  the  incoming  of — Death  ! 


In  the  year  1839  came  along  the  steamer  Glaucus  with 
whisky  for  McDonald,  and  then,  later,  in  1846,  steamboats  from 
Galena  with  flour,  potatoes,  etc.,  for  the  new  settlers,  as  Minne- 
sota, in  the  estimation  of  Eastern  men,  was  deemed  too  far  north 
and  too  cold  to  raise  either  corn  or  wheat.  Just  think  of  this, 
oh  ye  bonanza  farmers!  "Minnesota  too  far  north  to  raise 
either  corn  or  wheat,"  and  this  was  the  honest  belief  of  thousands 
of  men  less  than  forty-five  years  ago.  Just  think  of  the  wheat 
product  of  Minnesota  for  the  year  1883 — 35,000,000  bushels. 
Of  the  corn  crop,  from  15,000,000  to  20,000,000;  of  potatoes 
from  12,000,000  to  15,000,000  bushels,  and  yet  in   1843  steam- 


boats  from  Galena  brought  flour,  corn,  potatoes,  eggs,  butter, 
etc.,  to  feed  the  then  struggHng  population.     "  Why,"  said  a  good 
Christian  Methodist  friend  of  mine,  whom  I  met  after  my  return 
from  St.  Paul  in  1853,  *' you  can't  raise  corn  there,  or  wheat,  or 
potatoes  ;  they  won't    grow ;  they  can't  grow.     You  can't    live 
there  with  the  thermometer  forty  degrees  below  zero,  unless  you 
burrow  in  snow  huts  as  the  Esquimaux  do  ;  you  are  simply  crazy 
of  thinking  of  going  to  St.  Paul  to  make  it  your  future  home." 
But    I    came ;  I  stayed ;    '*  I  still  live,"   and    hope   to  live  long 
enough  to  see  St.  Paul  with  a  population  of  500,000  inhabitants. 
I  have  seen  it  grow  from  800  to   120,000  people,  and  can  see  no 
reason  why  in  ten  years  it  should  not  reach  300,000,  possibly 
500,000,  and  this  can  be  easily  attained  by  the  union  of  the  two 
cities,  which  will  be  the  ultimate  result  of  all  this  struggle  on  the 
part  of  each  to  surpass  the  other  in  the  race  for  supremacy. 


Mr.  Pomeroy  was  born  in  New  York  in  1821  ;  attended  a 
common  school  and  taught  school  for  a  short  time,  when  he 
learned  the  carpenter  trade  and  worked  at  it  for  a  brief  period  in 
Ohio.  He  came  to  Stillwater  in  1845  ^^^  removed  to  St.  Paul 
in  1846,  where  he  carried  on  his  business,  and  built  not  only  the 
first  house,  but  the  first  ten  or  twelve  houses  in  the  place.  Thirty- 
nine  years  ago  he  little  thought  St.  Paul  would  be  the  city  it  now 
is,  with  a  population  of  120,000,  as  then  the  country  was  very 
broken  and  some  parts  of  the  place  very  swampy.  He  thought 
possibly  it  might  be  a  "  right  smart  village,"  but  no  city. 


Mr.  Pomeroy  formed  a  partnership  with  a  Mr.  Foster  and 
the  firm  built  the  first  frame  building  in  the  city  for  Louis  Robert, 
which  stood  on  Bench  street  near  the  corner  of  Robert.  This 
was  burned  down,  but  it  was  rebuilt  by  the  firm  in  1847  and  later 
was  removed  to  Sixth  street,  back  of  the  new  Chamber  of  Com- 
merce building.  Mr.  Pomeroy  unhesitatingly  pronounces  this 
the  oldest  frame  dwelling  house  in  the  city,  and  as  he  and  his 
partner  built  it,  he  claims  to  kno^v  all  about  it,  and  he  certainly 
ought  to. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN:  57 


He  says  that  the  building  on  Fourth  street,  which  has  the 
card  on  it  of  the  Ramsey  County  Association  designating  it  as 
the  oldest  house  in  the  city,  was  a  part  of  Louis  Robert's  trading 
post,  built  of  logs,  and  was  removed  to  its  present  location  some- 
time after  Robert's  house  had  been  erected.  So  this  settles  the 
question  by  a  living  witness  and  by  the  mechanic  who  con- 
structed the  building,  as  to  which  was  the  oldest  house  in  St. 
Paul  in  the  year  1885,  and  where  located.  It  has  cost  some 
labor  to  dig  out  this  bit  of  history  from  the  past,  but  I  am  proud 
in  the  consciousness  of  the  fact  that  it  is  true. 


The  oldest  building  standing  upon  the  ground  upon  which 
it  was  originally  erected,  is  that  on  the  corner  of  Jackson  and 
Bench  streets,  (or  rather  where  Bench  street  terminates,)  and 
which  is  a  part  of  the  stone  warehouse  of  Wm.  Constans.  It  is 
an  old  store  and  has  on  it  in  almost  undistinguishable  letters — 
**  Storage,  forwarding  and  commission."  Mr.  Pomeroy  says  this 
is  the  oldest  store  building  in  the  city  not  removed  from  its  orig- 
inal position,  while  that  on  Sixth  street  is  the  oldest  wooden 
house  or  residence  erected  in  the  city,  and  thus  this  vexed 
question  seems  to  be  settled. 


At  a  meeting  of  the  Old  Settlers'  Association,  Incorporated 
in  1849,  held  in  St.  Paul  June,  1885,  a  committee  made  the  fol- 
lowing report : 

Whereas,  the  Ramsey  County  Pioneer  Association  has  fixed 
a  sign  on  a  frame  building  at  No.  98  East  Fourth  street,  near 
Cedar,  giving  it  the  honor  of  being  the  oldest  house  in  the  city, 
this  committee  report  that  this  claim  is  unfounded — that  the  old- 
est building  is  the  stone  structure  at  the  foot  of  Jackson  street 
on  the  west  side.  It  was  built  in  1847,  ^^^  was  used  as  a  com- 
mission and  storage  warehouse  by  Freeman,  Larpenteur  &  Co. 
In  composition  to  the  claim  that  the  Fourth  street  house  was  built 
in  1844,  the  committee  cited  the  fact  that  there  were  no  saw  mills 
here  chen  to  manufacture  the  lumber  of  which   it  is  composed. 


It  has  also  been  said  that  the  Fourth  street  structure  was  moved 
to  its  present  location  from  the  foot  of  Jackson  street.  In  oppo- 
sition to  this  the  committee  showed  the  impossibility  of  moving 
the  building  from  there  to  its  present  site  in  those  early  days. 
The  report  provoked  considerable  discussion,  but  was  adopted. 


In  1849  and  in  1851  Mr.  Pomeroy  built  Fort  Ripley  and 
Fort  Ridgely,  and  of  course  they  are  well-built  posts,  as  the  writer 
was  stationed  at  both  of  these  places  during  the  war,  and  he 
knows  this  from  personal  observation.  They  were  erected  under 
the  immediate  control  of  the  war  department  superintended  by 
an  officer,  but  a  man  must  have  been  a  pretty  good  mechanic  in 
those  days  to  have  secured  the  job. 


Mr.  Pomeroy  at  one  time  owned  a  lot  fifty  feet  front  on 
Third  street,  between  Jackson  and  Robert,  for  which  he  paid 
^200;  worth  now  ^50,000;  one  on  Fifth  street  141  feet  front, 
known  as  Baptist  Hill,  for  which  he  paid  $700 ;  worth  now 
;^70,000 ;  that  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Jackson  streets,  (the 
Davidson  property,)  60  feet  on  Fourth  and  150  on  Jackson,  for 
which  he  paid  $200,  worth  now  over  ;^  100,000.  On  his  return 
from  Fort  Ridgely  he  went  into  the  grocery  business  on  this 
corner,  in  which  he  continued  about  one  year,  when  he  returned 
to  his  trade  as  a  carpenter  for  a  few  years,  and  then  entered  the 
furniture  business,  in  which  he  remained  ten  years.  From  this 
he  drifted  into  buying  and  selling  hard  wood,  in  which  he  is  now 


Mr.  Pomeroy  erected  the  first  school  house,  which  stood  on 
Third  street,  above  Saint  Peter,  and  also  the  first  printing  office 
in  which  the  first  paper  appeared.  He  brought  the  first  lumber 
to  St.  Paul  to  sell,  and  in  the  early  history  of  the  city  erected 
not  less  than  thirty  houses.  He  built  the  first  boat  in  the  North- 
west, in  1847  or  1848,  which  was  used  to  take  a  panoramic  view 
of  the  Upper  Mississippi,  and  was  considered  a  first-class  vessel 
of  its  kind. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  59 


He  purchased  three  lots  on  the  corner  of  Jackson  street  and 
University  avenue,  for  which  he  paid  $600 ;  now  worth  ^^  12,000. 
On  these  lots  he  erected  a  fine  residence,  and  is  in  a  good  condi- 
tion to  enjoy  a  serene  and  a  pleasant  old  age. 


Mr.  Pomeroy  is  a  rugged  son  of  toil,  weather-beaten  and 
iron-bound  from  the  effects  of  frontier  life.  He  looks  like  a 
swarthy  scion  of  Vulcan,  cast  in  the  mould  of  human  endur- 
ance, and  is  as  calm  and  unmoved  as  the  granite  hills  of  New 
Hampshire.  He  is  very  undemonstrative  and  has  no  tact  for 
conversation,  and  yet  he  is  like  a  celebrated  race  horse,  when  once 
on  the  road  he  feels  the  inspiration  of  the  past  and  gets  over  the 
ground  in  good  style.  Nobody  can  drive  him.  Nobody  can 
scare  him.  In  early  days  his  sister  cried  out  to  him  in  the  mid- 
dle of  the  night :  **  Jesse  !  the  Indians  are  coming  !  " 

**  W-e-1-1 !  1-e-t  t-h-e-m  c-o-m-e ! "  he  replied,  and  turned 
over  in  bed  and  went  on  with  his  sleeping.  And  this  shows  the 
character  of  the  man ;  cool,  brave,  honest,  quiet,  industrious, 
muscular,  unpretending,  he  can  whip  any  braggart  that  may 
have  the  courage  to  attack  him,  yet  he  is  a  kind,  pleasant,  amia- 
ble gentleman  and  a  good  citizen. 


When  the  Indian  war  broke  out  in  Florida,  Col.  BanfiU 
resided  in  New  Orleans,  and  on  hearing  of  Dade's  massacre  he 
volunteered  and  took  an  active  part  in  the  campaign.  He 
removed  to  Prairie  du  Chien  in  1840,  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1846.  He  resided  in  this  city  for  some  time,  and  then  moved  to 
Manomin.  He  helped  build  the  steamer  H.  M.  Rice,  which  ran 
above  the  Falls,  also  a  mill  located  at  Manomin.  In  1857  ^^  "^^'^^ 
elected  State  Senator,  and  in  1 866  removed  to  Bayfield,  where  he 
has  remained  ever  since.  He  is  a  man  of  sterling  worth  and 
greatly  respected  by  all  who  know  him,  now  about  sixty  years 
of  age. 




First  Election — First  Survey  of  Town  Site — First  Schools — First  Physician- 
First    Tailor — First   Hotel — First  Drug  Store — First  Steamboat 
Line,  and  Other  Events  in  this  Year. 


In  1847,  thirty-eight  years  ago,  the  ground  known  as  Min- 
nesota was  embraced  within  the  Territory  of  Wisconsin,  so  that 
when  in  1848  Wisconsin  was  admitted  as  a  State,  the  young 
settlement  of  Minnesota  was  left  without  a  government.  Steps 
were  immediately  taken,  however,  to  effect  a  Territorial  organi- 
zation, and  at  a  convention  held  in  Stillwater  a  memorial  was 
passed  asking  Congress  to  grant  a  Territorial  existence  with  the 
present  beautiful  name,  Minnesota,  (meaning  in  Indian,  "  sky 
tinted  or  slightly  turbid,")  and  this  petition  was  granted  with  an 
agreement  on  the  part  of  those  composing  the  convention,  that 
**  St.  Paul  should  be  the  Capital,  Stillwater  should  have  the 
prison,  and  St.  Anthony,  (then  there  was  no  Minneapolis,)  the 
University,"  which  agreement  was  faithfully  adhered  to. 

H.  L.  Douseman,  of  Prairie  du  Chien,  now  dead,  suggested 
the  name  of  Minnesota.  At  this  time  St.  Paul  could  boast  of 
five  stores,  about  twenty  families  and  thirty-six  children,  com- 
posed of  English,  French,  Swiss,  Sioux,  Chippewa  and  African 
descent,  making  in  all  not  more  than  fifty  inhabitants,  while  the 
entire  white  population  in  the  Territory  could  not  have  been  at 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  61 

this  time  more  than  300.     Her  commercial  element  consisted  of 
a'light  traffic  in  furs,  a  little  lumbering  business,  and  other  minor 
» branches  of  trade,  but  the  place  began  to  be  known  and   immi- 
gration began  to  set  in. 


Just  as  I  get  a  little  ahead  in  my  history  some  of  the  real 
old  settlers  away  back  in  1845-6-7,  pop  up  before  me  and  remind 
me  of  the  fact  that  I  had  almost  forgotten  them.  Now  here 
comes  a  sort  of  rollicking  fellow,  not  tall,  nor  very  short,  and 
not  very  large,  yet  a  genial,  social  man,  and  he  slaps  me  on  the 
back,  and  on  turning  around  I  find  him  to  be 

W.    H.    FORBES, 

who  was  born  in  Canada  in  181 5  ;  was  once  a  partner  with  Mr. 
Kittson  ;  was  engaged  in  the  Indian  trade  for  a  number  of  years  ; 
was  a  member  of  the  Legislature  four  years ;  presiding  officer 
one  year  ;  postmaster  of  St.  Paul  ;  auditor  of  Ramsey  County  ; 
entered  the  army  in  1862  as  Commissary;  was  breveted  Major 
and  mustered  out  in  1 866 ;  subsequently  appointed  Indian  agent ; 
came  to  Fort  Snelling  in  1837,  or  forty-eight  years  ago,  and  in 
1847  became  a  resident  of  St.  Paul,  where  he  continued  to  reside 
twenty-eight  years,  or  up  to  the  time  of  his  death. 


Major  Forbes  was  an  excellent,  good  man.  I  knew  him 
well  ;  he  was  in  the  army  with  me ;  I  was  the  last  person  he 
spoke  with  when  he  left  St.  Paul  never  to  return  alive.  He  was 
ambitious,  yet  he  performed  his  duties  nobly  and  well.  As  an 
evidence  of  this  fact  he  left  the  army  poorer  than  when  he 
entered  it,  and  carried  to  the  credit  of  the  government  a  hand- 
some sum  which  he  had  saved.  He  was  impulsive,  kind-hearted, 
generous,  social,  and  has  left  behind  him  a  character  unsullied 
and  a  name  untarnished.  He  admired  everything  that  was 
manly  and  denounced  everything  that  was  mean.  But  he  is 
gone ;  his  family  is  scattered  and  the  old  homestead  that  for- 
merly stood  on  the  corner  of  Fifth  and  Robert  streets,  has  been 
removed  to  give  place  to  a  ^1,000,000  hotel — and  so  goes  the 
world ;  each  succeeding  wave  washes  out  the   footprints  on  the 


sands  of  life  made  by  those  who  have  gone  before,  and  we  pause 
in  silence  at  places  once  made  dear  by  their  presence,  and  wait 
— but  they  come  not.     All  is  still. 


Mr.  Bass  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847,  ^^  which  time  it  is 
alleged  his  wife  was  about  sixteen  years  old.  He  kept  store  for 
a  time,  and  then  purchased  the  interest  of  Simeon  P.  Folsom, 
who  ran  the  first  tavern  in  the  city,  which  was  built  of  tamarac 
poles  and  which  formerly  stood  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Jack- 
son streets,  where  now  stands  the  Merchants  hotel. 

Mr.  Bass  was  born  in  Vermont  in  1815  ;  lived  for  some  time 
in  Wisconsin,  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  and  then  moved  to  McGregor, 
Iowa  ;  married  a  Miss  Brunson,  daughter  of  Rev.  Alfred  Brun- 
son  ;  kept  hotel  in  this  city  ;  was  postmaster  in  1 849 ;  ran  a 
commission  house  on  the  levee  and  finally,  in  consequence  of  ill 
health,  retired  from  business.  He  accumulated  a  good  deal  of 
real  estate  during  his  residence  here,  but  in  1857  and  later,  he 
suffered  from  its  great  depreciation,  but  it  rose  again,  and  he  is 
now  well  off  He  is  a  short,  rather  thick-set  man,  with  a  pleasant 
address ;  quite  social  in  his  nature,  and  for  years  past  has  lived 
a  somewhat  retired  life.  He  opened  a  large  farm  on  the  line  of 
the  old  Sioux  City  Railroad,  but  I  think  has  given  it  up.  He  is 
seventy  years  old,  and  yet  is  a  fine,  hale,  genial  gentleman,  with 
enough  of  life's  comforts  to  make  him  happy.  Mrs.  Bass  is  one 
of  the  oldest  resident  ladies  in  the  city.  She  is  an  elegant  look- 
ing woman,  and  when  young  was  beautiful,  as  indeed  with  her 
gray  hair  and  clear  complexion  she  is  now. 

C.  p.  v.  LULL a    character. 

All  the  old  settlers  know  Lull ;  he  was  and  is  to-day  a 
character  peculiar  to  himself  He  was  at  one  time  Sheriff  of 
Ramsey  County  and  had  considerable  to  do  in  hanging  the  Indian 
Yu-ha-za  on  St.  Anthony  hill,  which  was  the  first  execution  in 
the  Territory.  He  was  always  a  moving  spirit  among  his  fellow- 
men,  and  is  now.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847,  ^^^  is  a  man 
about  fifty-five  years  of  age.  He  is  like  a  polar  bear,  always  on 
the  go,  always  moving.  A  man  of  ordinary  size,  full  of  activity, 
running  over  with  hilarity,  a  hard  worker.  Lull  has  seen  many  of 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  63 

the  shadows  and  but  Httle  of  the  sunshine  of  existence.  His 
peculiar  temperament  has  driven  him  rough-shod  over  the  crag- 
ged  hills  of  hfe,  and  yet  with  all  his  idiosyncrasies  he  is  a  pleasant 
man  and  a  genial  fellow.  He  was  born  in  New  York  and  still 
lives,  and  is  still  actively  at  work  knocking  off  the  rough  corners 
of  life. 


History  concedes  that  the  first  Mission  Sunday  School 
taught  in  this  city  was  by  Miss  Harriet  E.  Bishop,  who  also 
taught  for  a  year  a  day  school,  and  who  is  really  entitled  to  be 
considered  the  first  permanent  school  teacher,  as  she  really  was. 
This  was  in  the  year  1847,  ^^  thirty-eight  years  ago. 


But  a  short  time  since,  in  1884,  I  stood  over  the  coffin  of 
one  of  the  early  pioneers  of  this  city,  and  read  in  lines  unmis- 
takably traced  upon  the  pale,  dead  face — 

rest! PEACEFUL    REST. 

Hers  had  been  a  busy  life.  Leaving  home  and  friends  in 
Vermont,  she  sought  the  distant  shores  of  Minnesota  and  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1 847,  or  thirty-eight  years  ago,  to  do  what  she 
thought  was  her  Master's  bidding,  and  during  all  these  long 
years  she  never  halted,  never  tired,  never  stopped,  until  sickness 
placed  her  upon  a  bed  of  rest  and  death  closed  the  scene  forever. 
Miss  Bishop  was  thoroughly  impressed  with  the  belief  that  she 
had  a  work  to  do — a  destiny  that  must  be  filled,  and  acting  upon 
this  impression  she  came  among  the  early  settlers  of  this  city, 
educated  the  young,  taught  religion,  and  aided  in  every  way  she 
could  to  elevate  the  scale  of  morality.  Whatever  else  may  be 
said  of  her,  she  was  sincere  and  earnest.  She  taught,  she  wrote, 
she  worked — all  for  the  cause  of  God.  She  was  ambitious ;  she 
sought  fame,  and  hence  she  wrote  several  works — some  poetry, 
and  a  history  of  the  Sioux  outbreak.  These  works  were  not 
marked  by  any  particularly  brilliant  characteristics,  but  they  read 
well  and  showed  a  vast  amount  of  labor  and  research,  which  give 
the  reader  a  faint  conception  of  the  ever  busy  pen  and  busier 
brain  of  the  dead  authoress.  She  was  angular,  positive,  deter- 
mined— such    a   woman  as  is  necessary  for  frontier  life.     She 


knew  no  policy.  She  attacked  evils  upon  their  merits ;  never 
conciliated  or  compromised ;  hence  she  often  antagonized  some 
of  her  best  friends  working  with  her  in  the  same  good  cause. 
Tired  and  weary  with  her  struggle  she  sought  peace  in  the  mar- 
riage tie.  It  came,  but  oh !  how  bitter  !  And  then  she  drifted 
back  again  into  single  life,  and  toiled  on  in  what  she  deemed  her 
duty,  until  the  final  change  came  and  she  passed  over  the  river 
at  the  age  of  66  years. 

Miss  Bishop,  once  Mrs.  McConkey,  was  a  woman  of  comely 
appearance;  tall,  with  a  good  figure;  a  bright,  expressive  face; 
earnest  and  decided  in  manners,  and  quick  in  speech.  She  had 
an  air  of  active  business  about  her,  and  seemed  always  in  a 
hurry.  Until  within  a  few  years  she  wore  curls,  and  looked 
much  younger  than  she  really  was,  but  back  of  all  her  energy 
and  activity  and  her  desire  to  fill  up  the  measure  of  her  useful- 
ness, there  was  a  sad,  broken  heart,  which  at  last  gave  way,  and 
she  now  rests  in  peace.  Old  settlers  remember  her  kindly,  and 
future  historians  will  give  her  a  pleasant  niche  among  the  golden 
days  of  the  past. 


A.  L.  Larpenteur,  Esq.,  bought  of  David  Faribault  in  the 
year  1846,  or  thirty-nine  years  ago,  seventy  feet  of  land  on  Jack- 
son street  running  to  Fourth,  now  the  property  of  Henry  Hale, 
Esq.,  and  paid  for  it  the  sum  of  $62.50.     Its  present  value  is 
considerably  over  ;$  1 00,000.     He  was   offered  another   seventy 
feet  adjoining  for  $4$,  but  Larpenteur  was  too  shrewd  a  man 
to   load   himself  down  with   real   estate   at   such   ruinous   high 
prices,  and  so  declined  the  offer.     In  1847  ^^^  concluded  to  build 
on  this   lot,  so  timber  was  procured  at  $10  per  thousand,  and 
carpenters  were  set  to  work,  and  in  due  course  of  time  what 
was  once  known  as  the  Wild   Hunter's  hotel,  sprang  into  being 
as  a  first-class  city  residence,  costing  the  owner  ;$900.     It  was 
erected  on  the  corner  of  Third   and  Jackson  streets,  where  the 
ticket  office  now  is,  but  in  1 865  was  moved  to  its  former  location 
on  Jackson  street.     Mr.  Larpenteur  lived  here  eight  years,  and 
in  this  house  five  of  his  children  were  born,  and  here  he  passed 
some  of  the  plcasantest  hours  of  his  life.    The  hotel  of  the  Wild 
Hunter  was  kept  for  many  years  by  a  Mr.  Mueller,  who  died  in 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN,  On 

I  866.  It  was  a  peculiar  building,  made  so  mostly  by  the  addi- 
tions which  were  added  to  it,  and  while  it  stood  the  blasts  of 
thirty-seven  winters,  like  a  good  many  other  old  settlers  who 
have  gone  before,  it  passed  out  of  existence  forever  in  1885,  to 
make  way  for  an  imposing  block  of  brick  stores  which  now 
usurp  its  place. 


Mr.  Brunson  is  a  son  of  Rev.  A.  Brunson,  of  Prairie  du 
Chien,  and  is  a  brother  of  Mrs.  J.  W.  Bass,  of  this  city.  He  was 
born  in  Detroit  in  1823.  I  first  hear  of  Mr.  Brunson  as  in  the 
milling  business  in  Wisconsin,  when,  in  May,  1847,  ^"^^  removed 
to  St.  Paul,  where  he  has  resided  thirty-eight  years,  or  near  a  half 
a  century.  He  is  a  lawyer  and  a  very  competent  surveyor  and 
engineer.  He  assisted  in  surveying  the  town  plat  of  St.  Paul, 
and  having  secured  property  east  of  Trout  Brook,  laid  it  out  into 
:an  addition.  The  original  cost  of  the  land  to  him  was  compar- 
atively little,  but  the  property  is  now  worth  many  hundred 
thousand  dollars.  In  1861  Mr.  Brunson  entered  the  Union 
army,  Company  K,  Eighth  Regiment,  and  served  three  years. 
He  is  and  has  been  a  great  Odd  Fellow  and  Mason,  and  has 
probably  seen  as  many  ups  and  downs  as  any  man  in  the  State. 
He  has  been  a  justice  of  the  peace,  a  member  of  the  Territorial 
Legislature  for  two  terms,  general  manager  in  the  postofifice,  and 
is  now  connected  with  the  government  of  the  Union  Depot. 

as    I    SEE    HIM. 

Mr.  Brunson  is  a  quiet,  unobtrusive  man,  with  decided  opin- 
ions of  his  own  and  quite  independent  in  character.  He  never 
says — "  that's  so,"  but  he  speaks  what  he  believes  is  a  fact,  and 
others  echo — **  that's  so."  He  is  not  a  large  man ;  moves  and 
talks  in  a  moderate  manner,  and  thinks  a  good  deal  more  than 
he  talks.  He  and  his  son  are  both  energetic  business  men  and 
have  the  confidence  of  not  only  their  associates,  but  of  the  public 
at  large.  Perhaps  if  Mr.  Brunson  had  had  more  policy  and  less 
manhood,  he  would,  in  the  common  parlance  of  the  world,  have 
been  more  successful  financially,  and  perhaps  he  wouldn't !  A 
great  deal  of  life  is  governed  by  luck,  and  many  times  the  most 
ignorant  and  the  meanest  get  the  most  money.     Mr.  Brunson  is 

sixty-two  years  old,  but  is  bright,  cheerful  and  active. 



Dr.  Dewey  arrived  at  St.  Paul  in  July,  1847,  ^^^  '^^  i84<S^ 
established  the  first  drug  store  not  only  in  this  city  but  in  the 
State.  At  one  time  he  built  up  quite  a  practice,  but  of  late  years 
has  lived  a  somewhat  retired  life.  He  is  a  man  above  sixty 
years,  with  a  long,  flowing  beard  ;  very  reticent ;  moves  over  the 
sidewalk  with  measured  tread  and  has  the  appearance  of  a  per- 
son who  is  disappointed  with  the  world,  and  yet  it  may  be  only 
the  peculiarity  of  the  man.  He  is  a  quiet,  undemonstrative 
gentleman,  and  generally  walks  with  his  hands  behind  him. 
One  looking  at  him  would  scarcely  believe  that  he  was  the  oldest 
physician  in  St.  Paul,  who  had  resided  here  thirty-eight  years. 
He  has  seen  many  changes  and  has  followed  many  an  old  settler 
to  the  grave,  but  he  is  a  well-preserved  man,  and  bids  fair  to  live 
many  years  longer. 

p.  K.  JOHNSON. 

Mr.  Johnson  is  an  old-timer  and  still  lives  at  Mankato.  He 
was  born  in  Vermont  in  the  birthplace  of  Stephen  A.  Douglas,  in 
1 816;  attended  one  term  of  school  with  young  Douglas,  but  says 
that  did  not  add  anything  to  his  own  intellectual  growth ;  be- 
came an  apprentice  to  the  tailoring  business  in  1832;  served 
three  years  ;  carried  on  business  two  years,  and  in  1837,  oi'  forty- 
eight  years  ago,  emigrated  to  Wisconsin,  and  after  visiting  small 
places  like  Chicago,  Kenosha,  Racine  and  Milwaukee  (and  they 
were  small  in  those  days,)  he  finally  located  at  Rockford,  Illinois. 
Here  he  formed  a  partnership  in  the  tailoring  business  with  Wil- 
liam Tinker  of  this  city,  which  continued  until  1841.  They  then 
removed  to  Prairie  du  Chien  and  remained  there  as  partners  up 
to  1846,  when,  in  1847,  he  came  to  St.  Paul  to  hunt  and  fish  and 
to  look  up  his  land,  as  he  was  one  of  the  heirs  to  the  Carver 
estate,  embracing  Stillwater,  St.  Anthony,  St.  Paul  and  so  forth. 
He  says  that  at  this  time  he  could  have  had  a  lot  on  Third  street 
for  making  out  a  cjuit-claim  deed,  but  wliat  was  tlie  use  when  the 
Car\er  heirs  owned  the  whole  city?  Finalh-  he  consented  to 
take  a  lot  as  a  gift  from  H.  M.  Rice  on  upper  fhird  street,  and 
there,  in  a  small  building,  he  commenced  tailoring,  but  he  did  not 
make  up  his  mind  to  remain  in  the  city  until  1849.  He  was  a 
member  of  the  Legislature  in    1849  ^ilong  with    Henry  Jackson 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  67 

and  other  '49ers,  and  aided  in  locating  the  Capital,  at  St.  Paul. 
He  married  Miss  Bivins  in  1851,  and  soon  after  settled  near  the 
mouth  of  the  Blue  Earth  river — now  Mankato — built  the  first 
house  there,  laid  off  the  town,  was  postmaster,  Register  of  Deeds, 
deputy  Clerk  of  the  Court,  justice  of  the  peace,  etc.,  etc.,  and  in 
1855-6  was  a  member  of  the  Legislature. 


In  a  note  to  the  writer  Mr.  Johnson  says  :  "  In  your  political 
tirade  against  Rice  in  this  place,  now  some  thirty  odd  years  ago, 
it  was  I  instead  of  Jackson  who  complimented  you  for  telling 
more  political  lies  (artistically,)  in  a  given  time  than  any  man  I 
ever  listened  to."  I  am  glad  to  have  found  the  right  man  at  last 
who  accused  me  of  lying  in  my  speech  at  Mankato,  for  poor 
Jackson  will  now  be  able  to  sleep  more  quietly  in  his  grave  since 
Johnson  comes  to  the  front  and  confesses  liis  crime  of  interrupt- 
ing the  writer  when  he  was  trying  to  save  his  country  by  abusing 
Rice.  Johnson's  and  Newson's  fame  will  now  go  down  to  history 


Mr.  Johnson  is  a  man  of  a  good  deal  of  ability,  and  had  he 
struck  a  different  wave  he  would  have  occupied  an  entirely  dif- 
ferent position  in  society,  though  his  life  has  not  been  without 
its  influence  and  its  good.  He  has  lived  to  see  many  queer 
things,  and  towns  and  cities  have  grown  up  where  only  a  quarter 
of  a  century  ago  there  were  woods  and  Indians.  He  still  lives 
at  Mankato  at  a  good  old  age. 


On  the  25th  of  July,  1847,  thirty-eight  years  ago,  Miss 
Harriet  E.  Bishop  opened  a  mission  Sunday  school  in  a  log  house, 
corner  of  Third  and  St.  Peter  streets,  with  seven  scholars.  They 
were  from  parents  of  all  nationalities  and  from  all  denomina- 
tions, and  great  skill  was  required  by  the  then  young  and  in- 
experienced but  persevering  teacher  to  make  them  comprehend 
her  meaning ;  but  she  succeeded  admirably,  and  finally  had 
twenty-five  children  about  her.  The  school  was  continued  sev- 
eral years  and  increased  in  numbers,  and  at  last  became  con- 

68  P^y  PICTURES 

nected  with  the  First  Baptist  Church  of  this  city.  Miss  Bishop 
died  in  1883,  and  a  biographical  sketch  of  her  hfe  appears  in  the 
proper  place. 


Mr.  Folsom  was  born  in  Lower  Canada  in  18 19,  and  is  con- 
sequently 66  years  old,  which  will  greatly  surprise  most  of  his 
intimate  friends,  who  presumed  him  to  be  a  man  of  not  much 
more  than  50  years.  He  studied  and  practiced  law,  and  then  took 
up  the  profession  of  civil  engineering.  He  left  his  home  in  1839 
and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847,  or  thirty-eight  years  ago.  He 
early  enlisted  in  the  Mexican  war,  as  did  Edmund  Rice  and 
M.  N.  Kellogg,  and  also  served  in  the  Union  army  for  a  term  of 
three  years  during  the  war  of  the  rebellion.  He  was  also  on 
the  staff  of  Major-General  Bodfish,  in  1839,  ranking  as  major, 
and  in  1852-3  was  clerk  in  the  Legislature.  He  was  also  the  first 
city  surveyor  of  St.  Paul  in  1854,  and  has  been  a  continuous 
resident  of  St.  Paul,  or  near  to  it,  and  identified  with  her 
interests,  for  thirty- eight  years. 

A   canoe    ride    of    300    MILES. 

In   1842  Mr.  Folsom,  having  been  appointed  by  the  United 
States  government  to  take  the  census  in  this  then  almost  un- 
known region,   and   having  performed  his   duties,  purchased   a 
birch-bark  canoe  of  the  Indians,  and  alone  started  on  a  voyage 
from  Menominee,  Wisconsin,  down  the  Chippewa  river  to  the 
Mississippi,  and  from  thence  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  a  distance  of 
300  miles.     He  made  a  sail  out  of  one  of  his  under-garments, 
and  thus  floated  on  the  broad  bosom  of  the  great  river,  some- 
times   stopping  with  fur  traders,  sometimes  with   Indians,   and 
sometimes  alone.      Then   there  were  no  farms,   no  villages,  no 
towns,  no  cities,  and  very  few  whites.     He  came  west  when  nine- 
teen years   old,  and  has  lived  to  see  wonderful  changes.     He 
speaks  of  visiting  the  old  government  mill  near  where  Minneapo- 
lis now  stands,  and  between  the  mill  and  Fort  Snelling  on  a  wide 
stretch  of  prairie  land,  stood  a  lone  tree,  and  beneath  this  lone 
tree  the  sentinel  soldier  would  sit  at  noonday  to  shield  himself 
from  the  hot  rays  of  the  sun.     Where  that  lone  tree  then  stood 
is  now  a  bustling  city. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  69 


Mr.  Folsom  is  a  man  of  a  great  deal  of  intelligence  and  has 
led  an  active,  busy  life.  I  remember  him  in  the  palmy  days  of 
real  estate  when  he  dealt  in  broad  acres  and  drove  about  the  city 
as  a  nabob ;  then  I  remember  him  not  so  rich  ;  in  poor  health, 
ready  and  expecting  to  die  any  minute,  and  yet  he  has  outlived 
a  large  number  of  his  old  friends,  and  is  as  active  as  a  kitten. 
Very  few  men  know  more  about  real  estate  in  and  about  St. 
Paul,  than  Folsom.  He  has  surveyed  it ;  he  has  owned  it ;  he 
has  sold  it ;  he  has  been  on  the  topmost  round  of  the  ladder, 
and  at  the  bottom,  and  just  now  he  is  in  the  middle  of  the  ladder 
of  life,  and  is  as  tenacious  as  an  old  hickory  tree.  He  is  social, 
kind-hearted,  generous ;  has  an  excellent  memory,  and  delights 
to  revel  in  the  incidents  of  the  past.  Withal,  he  has  a  vein  of 
humor  in  his  composition  which  makes  him  popular  as  a  com- 
panion and  liked  as  a  man.  Mr.  Folsom  is  in  the  best  of  health, 
and  looks  younger  than  he  did  twenty  years  ago. 


Frederick  Oliva  was  born  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  Wisconsin,  in 
1816;  came  to  St.  Paul  temporarily  in  1843,  and  then  to  reside 
permanently  in  1847.  ^^  clerked  for  Henry  Jackson,  then  for 
Louis  Robert,  and  in  1836  for  Gen.  Sibley;  was  at  one  time  dep- 
uty Register  of  Deeds  under  Louis  Oliver.  He  steamboated  a 
good  deal  and  bought  furs.  He  is  now  in  the  employ  of  Mr. 
Langevin,  in  the  Sixth  ward,  and  has  reached  the  age  of  68 
years,  and  yet  he  has  not  a  gray  hair  in  his  head.  He  remem- 
bers when  the  flats  and  indeed  all  the  river  bottom  on  the  west 
side  of  the  city  was  thick  with  large  elm,  ash  and  other  trees.  He 
was  at  the  head  of  thirty  men  who  felled  these  trees,  and  they 
were  so  thick — the  trees — that  wagon  roads  had  to  be  cut  through 
them  to  enable  the  teams  to  get  out  of  the  forest.  There  is  now 
only  one  solitary  elm  left,  and  some  provision  should  be  made  to 
preserve  it  as  a  link  of  the  past.  Mr.  Oliva  is  a  quiet,  trust- 
worthy man,  unmarried  and  has  no  relations  in  this  country  ex- 
cept an  uncle  at  Prairie  du  Chien. 


This  year  witnessed  also  the  organization  of  the  first  steam- 
boat  line,  consisting  of  the  solitary  steamer  "  Argo,"  which  was 


desio-ned  to  run  once  a  week  from  Galena  to  St.  Paul.  This 
result  was  effected  through  the  personal  efforts  of  Hon.  H.  M. 
Rice.  Previously  stray  boats  only  made  their  way  to  our  city, 
but  now  the  shrill  whistle  of  the  little  Argo  evoked  shouts  of 
praise  from  the  crowd  which  congregated  on  the  levee  to  witness 
her  arrival.  Capt,  Russell  Blakeley  was  then  clerk  of  the  Argo, 
and  when  she  sank  and  the  Dr.  Franklin  took  her  place,  he  was 
clerk  of  her  also.  He  subsequently  became  the  captain  of  sev- 
eral laree  boats,  but  as  he  did  not  come  to  St.  Paul  to  reside 
until  1856,  I  shall  speak  more  fully  of  him  in  the  events  of  that 


At  the  first  election  ever  held  in  St.  Paul  (says  Mr.  Folsom,) 
in  the  year  1847,  forty-nine  votes  were  cast,  and  one  of  the 
judges  of  the  election,  after  announcing  the  result,  stated  that 
John  Dobney  had  received  the  full  number  and  was  duly  chosen. 
As  some  of  the  judges  were  somewhat  set  up  by  copious  drinks 
of  water  from  the  Mississippi  river,  they  wanted  to  know  who 
this  John  Dobney  was,  when  the  aforesaid  judge  conducted 
them  to  a  closet  near  by,  and  pointing,  said — *' There  he  is  !  " 
which  proved  to  be  a  demijohn  filled  with  whisky.  In  those 
days  such  candidates  invariably  received  the  full  number  of 
votes,  and  of  course  were  always  elected. 

MORE    OLD    settlers. 

Aaron  Foster  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  181 7;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1847  ;  was  a  carpenter  by  trade ;  elected  a  justice  of 
the  peace;  enlisted  in  the  army;  died  about  1864.  I  did  not 
know  him.  Daniel  Hopkins  was  born  in  New  Hampshire  in 
1787;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847;  opened  a  store  and  did  con- 
siderable business ;  owned  a  good  deal  of  real  estate  in  the  city, 
among  which  was  a  lot  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Jackson 
streets,  for  which  he  paid  ;^200 ;  now  worth  ;$35,ooo.  He  died 
in  1852  aged  65  years.  Wm.  C.  Renfro  was  a  young  Virginian 
of  ability  and  education,  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847.  ^^^ 
was  a  graduate  of  medicine;  very  social  in  his  nature,  and  yet 
there  was  an  air  of  dejection  about  him.  He  was  found  frozen 
to  death  in  his  night  clothes,  under  a  tree,  on  the  3d  of  January, 
1848.     It  seems  that  he  indulged  too  freely  in  drink,  and  in  a 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MIN^\  71 

crazed  condition  of  mind  wandered  from  his  home,  then  on 
""  Prospect  Hill,"  towards  town,  and  becoming  benumbed  with 
the  cold,  fell  and  died.  Intoxicating  drinks  in  the  end  will  get 
the  better  of  the  bravest  and  the  best.  G.  A.  Fournier,  who 
-came  the  same  year,  is  dead. 


This  year  a  town  site  was  surveyed  and  the  place  was 
known  as  "  St.  Paul  Proper."  Tlie  tract  of  land  laid  out  for  a 
town  site  embraced  ninety  acres,  and  included  the  present  busi- 
ness portion  of  the  city.  Real  estate  was  then  so  scarce  that 
every  available  means  were  taken  to  save  it,  and  so  I  find  that 
the  surveyors  or  originators  of  our  town  plat  crooked  our 
streets,  and  cut  corners  and  made  our  thoroughfares  narrow  in 
order  to  secure  space  enough  to  build  a  city  on,  and  they  suc- 
ceeded admirabl}'  well.  Had  there  been  more  land  probably 
our  streets  would  have  been  narrower  and  meaner,  but  crooked 
and  narrow  as  they  are,  thus  commenced  the  nucleus  of  the 
present  St.  Paul. 


The  old  "St.  Paul  House,"  of  which  mention  has  been 
made,  was  greatly  enlarged  this  year  by  J.  W.  Bass,  and  here 
good  accommodations  could  be  found,  and  here  the  elite  and 
aristocracy  of  the  place  congregated  to  be  entertained  by  **  mine 
genial  host."  When  the  old  logs  were  taken  down,  to  give  place 
to  the  present  edifice,  they  were  found  to  be  perfectly  sound,  and 
the  Gfavel  of  the  "  Old  Settlers'  Association "  was  made  out  of 
some  of  the  wood.  In  1853  the  building  stood  upon  quite  a 
bank,  and  I  remember  quite  vividly  of  crawling  up  on  a  ladder 
to  get  into  the  house.  At  one  time  in  this  building  the  post- 
office  was  kept ;  at  another  time  the  Masons  and  Odd  Fellows 
met;  at  another  time  the  "  High-Cock-a-Lorums,"  or  territorial 
officers,  convened  and  issued  the  proclamation  for  the  organiza- 
tion of  the  Territory. 


Miss  Bishop,  who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847,  alluding  to  the 
embryo  city  at  this  early  day,  writes :  *'  It  must  be  borne  in  mind 
that  St.  Paul  was  a  small  trading  post  giving  yet  no  sign  of  its 


unprecedented  growth.  The  council  fires  of  the  red  men  were- 
but  just  extinguished  on  the  East  Side  and  were  still  brightly 
blazing  on  the  west  of  the  river.  Our  village  was  almost  daily 
thronged  with  Indians,  where  they  frequently  encamped  in  larger 
numbers  than  the  entire  adult  male  population  of  the  Territory. 
Tragic  scenes  were  often  enacted  by  them  when  intoxicated  and 
provoked  by  fraud  practiced  upon  them  by  unprincipled  whisky 
sellers."  These  Indians  continued  to  dance  and  to  beg  about 
the  city  up  to,  and  including,  the  year  1 849,  and  many  of  them^ 
were  about  the  streets  in  1853-4. 


The  first  tailor,  first  physician,  first  Sunday  and  day  schools,, 
first  survey  of  town  site,  first  hotel,  first  regular  line  of  steamboats, 
all  originated  in  the  year   1847,  ^.nd  the  little  band  of  settlers 
of  that  year  began  to  assume  form  and  to  exhibit  marks  of  civi- 
lization.    Of  course  affairs   were  in    a   crude    condition,   but    a 
moulding  process  then   commenced   which  has   been  going  ou' 
ever  since.     Among  the  potential  elements   which   conduced  to- 
this  end  was  the  establishment  of  schools  ;  schools,   the    great 
basis  upon  which  all  society  rests  ;    schools,    the    shimmering 
lights   which  penetrate  the  darkness  of  barbarism  and  bigotry  ;; 
schools,  the  bulwarks  of  the  nation's  liberties ;  schools,  the  great 
elevators  of  the  people   and  the  refining  powers  of  the  modern 
aee.     To  these  elements  I  attribute  the  first  start  and  onward 
march  of  the  prosperity  of  our  city  from  that  day  to  this. 


Just  below  the  old  log  house  which  stood  where  the  Mer- 
chants hotel  now  stands,  on  Third  street,  diagonally  across  the 
flat,  was  a  square  tent  occupied  by  a  family  of  Indians.  This 
was  in  1847,  when  Mr.  Simeon  P.  Folsom  lived  in  the  said  log 
house.  For  some  time  it  had  been  observed  that  all  was  silent 
about  the  tent,  when,  on  Mr.  Folsom's  repairing  to  it,  he  found  a 
dead  Indian  in  it,  killed  by  a  knife  in  the  hands  of  another  Indian, 
who  had  crept  silently  into  the  tent  and  stabbed  him.  The  family 
had  vacated  the  premises.  The  Indian  stabbed  had  killed  the 
sister  of  the  assassin,  and  he  had  carried  out  the  old  Mosaic 
injunction,  "An  eye  for  an  eye  and  a  tooth  for  a  tooth."     This- 

OF  ST.  FA  UL,  MINN.  73 

was  the  peculiar  condition  of  affairs  in  and  about  the  city  in  1847, 
and  in  giving  these  incidents  I  do  so  to  show  how  rapidl}'  has 
been  the  march  of  civiHzation  since  then.  Now  no  Indians  can 
be  seen  in  our  midst,  except,  perhaps,  a  few  friendly  ones  who 
reside  at  Mendota. 



First  Delegate  to  Congress — First  Miller — First  Wagon  Made  in  Minnesota- 
First  Clock  and  Watch  Factory — First  Blacksmith — First 
Two-wheel  Dray — Events  and  Biographies. 


A  ladies'  sewing  circle  aided  very  materially  in  procuring' 
funds  for  a  new  school  house  this  year,  which  was  also  used  for 
religious  purposes,  lectures,  etc.  It  was  built  in  the  latter  part 
of  August,  1848,  and  stood  on  Third  street  where  the  late  Dr. 
Alley's  block  now  stands.     The  building  was  burned  in  1857. 


The  first  Protestant  sermon  in  St.  Paul  was  preached  in  1 844, 
the  second  and  third  in  1846,  and  the  fourth  in  1847,  t>y  Rev.  Dr. 
'Williamson.  The  first  prayer-meeting  was  held  in  November, 
1848,  and  H.  M.  Rice  tendered  ^200  and  ten  lots  towards  the 
erection  of  the  first  church.  And  even  a  temperance  society  was 
organized,  so  that  really  the  barbaric  effects  of  the  Indians  and 
the  deteriorating  power  of  the  half-breeds  began  to  give  way 
to  the  refining  influences  of  schools,  sobriety  and  religion. 

"  OUT    IN    THE    COLD." 

Wisconsin  was  admitted  into  the  Union  as  a  state  in  1848, 
so  that  Minnesota,  being  originally  a  part  of  Wisconsin  when  she 


took  her  place  among  the  family  circle,  was  left  '*out  in  the  cold," 
but  the  question  of  a  territorial  existence  was  agitated,  and  the 
first  public  meeting  ever  held  in  this  city  was  called  this  year  to 
consider  this  matter;  and  subsequently  a  convention  was  held  at 
Stillwater.  This  convention  framed  resolutions  in  favor  of  a  ter- 
ritorial organization  and  then  proceeded  to  the  election  of 


and  Hon.  Henry  H.  Sibley,  of  Mendota,  was  chosen,  Mr. 
Sibley  was  also  elected  at  the  same  time  delegate  to  Congress 
from  Wisconsin,  so  that,  in  reality,  he  represented  Minnesota  and 
Wisconsin  jointly. 

TITLE    TO    THE    TOWN    SITE. 

This  year  the  land  upon  which  St.  Paul  stood  having  been 
surveyed,  was  purchased  for  the  proprietors,  and  although  a  good 
many  hungry  land  men  were  present  at  the  sale,  nobody  bid 
against  them  and  St.  Paul  became  a  fixture  for  all  time.  H.  H. 
Sibley,  Louis  Robert  and  A.  L.  Larpenteur  were  chosen  trustees 
for  the  owners. 


In  1848  the  place  was  a  mere  collection  of  huts  with  Indians 
and  birch-bark  canoes  promiscuously  plenty,  while  at  this  time 
I  find  only  one  log  grocery,  the  principal  store  in  the  place.  This 
year  John  R.  Irvine  bought  the  whole  tract  of  land  from  St.  Peter 
street  up  to  Fort  street,  for  ;^300,  now  worth  one  or  two  millions. 
Where  the  City  Hall  stands  was  then  a  large  grove  of  trees.  The 
first  store  was  on  the  corner  of  Bench  and  Jackson  streets.  In 
1 847  there  was  not  a  sawed  frame  building  in  the  town,  and  only 
a  few  frame  buildings  in  1848-9. 


Very  few  persons  who  stand  on  the  corner  of  Jackson  and 
Fourth  streets  and  gaze  up  at  that  elegant  building  erected  by 
C.  D.  Gilfillan  at  a  cost  of  ;^  150,000,  or  scan  the  Davidson  block 
on  the  opposite  corner,  or  more  closely  inspect  another  elegant 
edifice  occupied  by  the  First  National  Bank,  on  still  another  cor- 
ner, can  scarcely  realize  that  here,  in  the  year  1848,  was  once  a 
deep  ravine,  at  the  bottom  of  which  flowed  a  stream  of  water, 

OF  JST.  PAIL,  MINN.  75 

and  over  a  bridge  the  people  went  their  way  up  Jackson  street 
to  a  hill  near  Fifth  street,  and  then  came  to  a  halt — for  this  was 
the  end  of  the  road.  Down  deep  in  this  ravine  a  man  by  the  name 
of  Lott  Moffett  erected  a  house,  and  here  he  kept  boarders. 
Rev.  E.  D.  Neill  writes  me  as  follows : — 

"In  April,  1849,  the  Saint  I'Ari.  House,  kept  by  J.  W.  Bass,  being  full,  I  was 
directed  to  a  story  and  a  lialf  frame  house  not  finished,  kept  by  Mr.  Moffett,  which 
was  some  distance  north  of  what  you  call  the  'Castle,'  and  on  the  prairie.  His 
boarders  were  so  many  that  they  were  obliged  to  sleep  on  the  lloor.  A  man  by  the 
name  of  Baldwin,  born  in  Alabama  and  still  living  in  Minneapolis,  the  keeper  of  the 
'Ocean  Wave  Siloon,'  allowed  me  to  sleep  with  him  on  a  buffilo  robe  placed  on  a 
rough  home-made  bed-stead.  I  stayed  ten  days  at  Moffett's.  He  attended  the  first 
religious  service  I  conducted  in  the  little  school  house  on  Third  street,  and  C.  V.  P. 
Lull  volunteered  as  chorister.  When  I  went  to  settle  my  bill  with  Moffett,  he 
said — '  T  can't  take  full  price,  for  I  went  to  your  preaching  and  it  atmised  me.'  Lott 
was  a  kind  man  and  I  did  not  consider  his  language  sarcastic ;  but  supjDosed  that 
amused  in  his  mind  was  the  synonym  of  pleased." 


Mr.  Moffett  was  born  in  New  York  in  1S03,  and  died  in  St. 
Paul  in  1870,  aged  67  years.  His  early  education  was  some- 
what neglected,  yet  he  was  a  man  of  strong,  sterling  principles, 
and  did  a  great  deal  of  good  in  the  day  in  which  he  lived.  He 
served  his  trade  as  a  millwright ;  learned  the  business  of  woolen 
manufacturer,  and  ran  a  mill.  In  July,  1848,  he  came  to  St.  Paul 
and  purchased  the  land  on  the  St.  Anthony  road  known  as  the 
Larpenteur  farm.  He  disposed  of  this  and  went  to  Arkansas  ; 
engaged  in  mercantile  business,  bridge  building  and  lead  mining, 
and  returned  to  St.  Paul  in  1850,  where  he  built  a  hotel  and  ran 
it  until  his  death,  it  being  strictly  a  temperance  house.  He  was 
not  a  politician  but  a  leading  Mason ;  was  married  three  times, 
and  was  universally  respected. 


Mr.  Moffett  was  an  eccentric  but  an  honest  man ;  always 
working,  always  striving  to  make  mankind  better.  He  was  a  strict 
temperance  man — indeed,  I  may  say,  violently  so,  and  yet  he 
was  kind  and  popular.  From  time  to  time  he  added  stories  to 
his  building  until  it  peeped  above  the  level  of  the  street,  and  then 
with  his  own  hands  he  added  other  stories,  until,  when  he  died,  he 
had  what  was  popularly  called  "  Moffett's  Castle  " — three  stories 
below  ground  and  four  above.    He  finished  it  himself,  and  when 


completed  it  was  a  very  respectable  looking  building,  except  the 
peculiarties  of  the  man,  which  were  made  apparent  in  the  many 
gable  ends  which  adorned  the  edifice.  The  spring  which  ran  down 
the  ravine  has  dried  up ;  the  ravine  has  been  filled  in  ;  the  old 
"  Castle  "  has  been  torn  down ;  the  good  old  man  with  long  gray 
hair  and  beard  is  dead;  and  now  rises  in  increasing  force  the 
incoming  of  a  new  age  of  money,  brains,  brick,  mortar,  com- 
merce;  and  just  right  here,  at  the  crossing  of  these  two  streets, 
is  where  the  busiest  part  of  the  city  is  seen.  The  world  is  on  a 
"  teanter,"  as  the  boys  say ;  when  one  man  goes  up  the  other 
comes  down.  The  motion  is  perpetual  and  the  end  is  certain. 
Some  are  dropping  from  the  see-saw  board  of  life,  while  others 
are  clambering  into  their  places  to  try  their  luck  in  this  great  world 
of  strife ;  and  so  the  sickle  of  time  moves  on,  cutting  down  a 
wide  swath  among  the  ranks  of  the  old  settlers  and  among  the 
old  things  of  the  past,  to  make  place  for  the  untried  and  the  nevv\ 


The  bell  is  now  silent,  and,  like  its  maker,  gone  to  rest, 
pushed  out  of  existence  by  the  new  Market  Hall  clock,  which 
regulates  the  hours.  On  the  corner  of  Fifth  and  Jackson  streets 
was  a  hill  that  intercepted  travel,  and  on  this  hill  Mr.  Illings- 
worth,  an  Englishman,  built  a  small  house,  and  on  the  first  floor 
of  this  house  he  ran  the  original  watch  and  clock  establishment 
in  St.  Paul,  and  our  old  Cit>^  Hall  bell,  as  it  used  to  strike  the 
hours,  was  a  reminder  that  it  was  made  by  his  skillful  hands. 
When  the  city  cut  Jackson  street  through,  the  owner  built  the 
first  story  of  his  house  where  the  hill  was,  of  brick,  leaving  the 
second  story  wood,  and  then  in  a  few  years  more,  when  both  the 
proprietor  and  his  wife  were  laid  in  their  graves,  the  old  land- 
mark was  torn  down  and  in  its  place  arose  an  imposing  brick 
building.  Mr.  Illingsworth  was  a  large,  fleshy  man,  with  a  fine 
countenance,  and  his  wife  was  equally  as  fleshy.  He  was  a  very 
ingenious  mechanic,  well  versed  in  his  profession,  slow  and 
methodical,  yet  sure.  They  left  quite  a  family  of  children,  sev- 
eral of  whom  still  reside  here.  He  was  *'  a  fine  old  English 
gentleman,  all  of  the  olden  time." 

And  so  goes  the  world !  The  man  who  made  the  clock  is 
gone,  the  place  where  the  clock  was  made  is  gone,  and  the  music 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  77 

of  the  bell  itself  is  gone,  and  a  sound  from  the  past  comes  back 
and  asks — 

"Whither  are  we  going?" 

and  it  echoes  back  again — 

"Going!     Going!     Going!" 
HOW    ST.    PAUL    WAS    MADE    THE    CAPITAL. 

General  Sibley  was  sent  as  a  delegate  from  Minnesota  and 
Wisconsin  to  represent  this  then  section  of  the  country  in  the 
year  1848.  While  in  Congress  he  labored  for  a  bill  organizing 
the  Territory  of  Minnesota  ;  succeeded  in  getting  the  bill  through 
the  Senate,  but  at  the  instigation  of  Senator  Douglas  Mendota 
was  made  the  capital.  General  Sibley,  though  a  warm  friend  of 
Douglas,  strenuously  opposed  this,  and  the  name  of  St.  Paul  was 
finally  inserted.  Mendota  was  placed  in  the  bill  by  Douglas,  who 
had  visited  Fort  Snelling  and  knew  the  character  of  the  country 
in  that  section.  It  was  through  the  efforts  solely  of  Gen.  Sibley 
that  St.  Paul  was  made  the  Capital  of  the  State  of  Minnesota. 

B.  F.  HOYT then    AND    NOW. 

Among  those  who  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848,  was  the  gen- 
tleman whose  name  heads  this  paragraph.  He  was  generally 
known  as  "  Rev.  B.  F.  Hoyt,"  or  "  Father  Hoyt,"  and  is  now 
remembered  among  the  old  settlers  as  such.  Born  in  Norwalk, 
Connecticut,  in  1800,  he  early  worked  on  a  farm  and  taught 
school ;  settled  in  Western  New  York ;  married'  Miss  Elizabeth 
Haney,  sister  of  the  noted  Rev.  Richard  Haney,  of  Illinois,  in 
the  year  1826,  and  then  emigrated  to  Fulton  County  in  the  same 
State,  being  twenty-five  days  on  the  road.  Previous  to  his  mar- 
riage, or  in  1825,  he  went  to  Ohio  to  secure  400  acres  of  land 
out  of  2,000  which  were  given  to  his  grandfather  on  his  mother's 
side  for  losses  sustained  during  the  war  of  the  Revolution. 
Unlike  young  men  of  this  modern  age,  he  did  not  desire  to  start 
his  marriage  life  with  a  $600  piano  and  a  Brussels  carpet,  but  he 
went  to  work  and  furnished  his  house  with  furniture  of,  his  own 
make,  and  both  he  and  his  wife  were  happy.  In  1848  he  came 
to  St.  Paul  with  his  family  and  built  a  tamarac  log  cabin  on  the 
corner  of  Eighth  and  Jackson  streets,  on  what  is  now  known  as 
the  Oakes  place.  His  claim  extended  down  Eighth  to  Broadway, 
up  Broadway  and  Jackson  back   to  the  bluff.     The  amount  paid 


for  this  claim  was  quite  inconsiderable,  but  the  property  now 
would  bring  several  hundred  thousand  dollars.  Mr.  Hoyt  was 
the  means  of  building  the  first  Methodist  Episcopal  Protestant 
Church  erected  in  the  Northwest ;  was  a  local  preacher  in  the 
church ;  married  the  first  white  couple  in  St.  Anthony ;  was  one 
of  the  founders  of  the  Hamline  University,  and  made  several 
trips  to  New  York  in  the  interest  of  that  institution ;  probably 
sold  the  first  small  tract  of  land  disposed  of  in  St.  Paul,  being 
one  acre  for  ^40,  to  W.  C.  Morrison,  corner  of  Ninth  and  Jackson 
streets,  on  part  of  which  iVIr.  Morrison  now  lives,  (1885,) — prop- 
erty worth  ;$75,ooo;  sold  the  Oakes  block,  less  a  small  strip,  for 
$1,200 — same  property  sold  for  $40,000,  then  for  $75,000,  worth 
now  $150,000;  sold  the  Borup  block,  where  the  Baptist  Church 
now  is,  for  $150 — worth  to-day  from  $75,000  to  $100,000,  with- 
out improvements  ;  sold  to  Rev.  C.  Hobart  one  lot  on  Eighth 
street,  looking  down  Sibley,  for  $20,  and  gave  him  the  adjoining 
lot  worth  now  $35,000;  sold  Oakland  Cemetery  for  $30  per 
acre;  worth  35,000  per  acre ;  bought  the  island  at  White  Bear 
lake  for  a  small  sum — now  worth  many  thousands  of  dollars  ; 
owned  Bronson's  Addition  when  it  was  worth  $10  per  acre — 
worth  now  $8,000  and  $10,000  per  acre;  built  the  Yandies  man- 
sion on  Dayton's  bluff  in  1855  or  1856,  and  was  largely  interested 
in  real  estate  in  Red  Wing,  Cannon  Falls,  etc.  When  his  son 
Lorenzo  and  his  friend  W.  G.  Hcndrickson  were  breaking  their 
present  farms  in  Rose  township,  worth  $5  per  acre,  and  things 
to  them  looked  blue,  his  remark  was,  "  Well,  boys,  do  not  be 
discouraged  ;  you  will  live  to  see  this  land  sell  for  $50  per  acre." 
They  thought  him  visionary,  but  he  continued  long  enough  on 
earth  to  see  them  both  make  their  first  sale  at  six  times  his  esti- 
mate, or  $300  per  acre,  worth  now  $700  and  $1,000  per  acre. 

A    KIND    HEART. 

Mr.  Hoyt  was  running  over  with  kindness  and  goodness ; 
he  was  also  a  religious  man,  and  identified  himself  closely  with 
the  interests  of  the  Methodist  Church  ;  his  doors  were  ahvays 
open  to  the  preachers,  from  the  bishop  down.  He  was  also  gen- 
erous. He  gave  largely  to  the  poor  ;  did  not  despise  the  Indians 
or  the  lowly  ;  James  Thompson,  the  former  slave,  found  in  him 
a  friend  ;  and  hundreds  of  poor  families  were  made  glad  by  wood 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  3fINN.  79 

which  was  sent  them  by  Father  Hoyt.  After  his  death,  a  man 
who  was  cutting  timber  for  him  and  hauling  it  to  town,  said  he 
had  orders  for  eight  cords  of  wood  in  his  pocket  at  one  time, 
to  be  taken  to  different  poor  famiHes.  Wood  in  those  days  was 
worth  from  ^8  to  $9  per  cord.  An  old  settler,  now  living,  can 
testify  to  how  he  felt,  when  destitute  of  money  and  board  bill 
due,  Mr.  Hoyt  gave  him  $20.  He  never  cared  for  riches  or 
office ;  he  vvas  like  his  Maker,  always  going  around  doing  good. 
He  was  on  the  best  of  terms  with  all  the  ministers  of  his  day, 
and  had  unbounded  faith  in  the  future  greatness  of  St.  Paul. 
Of  eight  children  five  are  living,  Lorenzo,  Judge  J.  F.,  Wm.  H., 
Mrs.  J.  H.  Murphy,  and  Mrs.  George  H.  Hazzard. 


I  first  met  Mr.  Hoyt  at  Red  Wing  in  the  year  1853,  or 
thirty-two  years  ago.  He  was  a  slender  man,  moderately  tall, 
with  a  round  head,  a  little  bald  on  top,  quite  deliberate  in  speech, 
decided  in  expression,  and  rather  hesitating  in  manner.  He  was 
then  dealing  largely  in  real  estate.  He  stooped  a  little,  and  if  I 
remember  correctly,  always  carried  a  cane.  He  very  seldom 
indulged  in  mirth.  When  walking  he  passed  along  vigorously, 
evidently  impressed  with  the  duties  he  had  to  perform.  He  was 
a  man  of  energy  and  endurance,  constantly  moving  about  for  the 
benefit  of  others,  and  lived  a  good,  plain,  pure,  unselfish  life. 
One  year  before  he  died  he  called  at  the  writer's  house.  The 
vigor  of  manhood  had  gone.  The  face  was  pale  and  pinched, 
the  limbs  were  weak  and  tottering,  the  voice  soft  and  plaintive, 
and  the  eye  clearly  showed  that  he  was  conscious  of  the  coming 
end,  and  so  he  died  as  he  had  lived,  a  kind,  genial,  benevolent 
Christian  man,  and  his  memory  is  kindly  cherished  by  a  large 
circle  of  friends.     His  age  was  seventy-five  years. 


At  this  time  St.  Paul  was  only  a  village.  It  is  true  some 
of  the  trees  and  underbrush  had  been  cut  out,  and  a  few  extra 
cabins  had  been  added  to  the  cluster.  Indeed,  it  is  said,  that  an 
old  settler  expressed  great  astonishment  on  counting  eighteen 
chimneys  in  the  fall  of  1848,  from  which  emanated  smoke,  to  see 
how  rapidly  the  place  was  growing.  But  the  foundation  had 
been  laid  for  a  city,  and  elements  were  at  work  moulding  the 

6'(/  PEN  PlCTJjRES 

plastic  clay.  Civilization  began  bucking  up  against  barbarism 
and  barbarism  began  to  recede.  Intelligence  began  to  penetrate 
darkness,  and  the  moral  atmosphere  began  to  grow  purer;  good 
men  came  in  to  push  out  the  bad,  and  with  this  impetus  the  early 
settlers  took  courage  and — held  on  ! 


•Mr.  Lott  was  born  at  Pemberton,  N.  J.,  in  the  year  1826,  and 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848,  or  37  years  ago.  He  was  president 
of  the  Town  Council  of  St.  Paul  before  St.  Paul  was  a  city  ;  was 
a  member  of  the  Legislature  for  two  terms,  and  City  Clerk  for  two 
years.  He  was  United  States  consul  at  Tehuantepec,  Mexico  ; 
was  appointed  by  President  Lincoln  without  solicitation,  and  held 
the  office  for  several  years.  He  was  also  a  iaw\'er  and  land 
agent,  and  in  early  days  was  quite  prominent. 


Mr.  Lott  is  a  small,  modest,  retiring,  gray-headed  gentle- 
man, who  appears  like  one  who  had  let  go  his  hold  on  the  af- 
fairs of  life — or,  rather,  like  one  who  didn't  care  whether  school 
kept  or  not.  He  is  kind  and  polite,  and  I  never  saw  him  out  of 
temper.  In  the  early  days  he  was  as  active  as  any  one  could  be 
in  all  matters  that  concerned  the  cit}%  as  the  various  offices  he 
held  fully  attest.  He  is  unselfish — not  selfish  enough  for  his 
own  good.  He  shrinks  from  contact  with  the  world  when  he 
ought,  with  a  well-directed  blow,  to  hit  the  world  between  the 
eyes  ;  but  Lott  won't  do  that,  so  I  expect  he  will  "  continue  on 
in  the  even  tenor  of  his  way  "  until  gathered  in  by  the  reaper 
Death.  Of  late  years  his  health  has  not  been  good,  and  yet  I 
meet  him  almost  daily  upon  the  street,  and  the  same  pleasant, 
smiling  face,  and  the  same  kind-hearted  gentleman  of  the  past, 
is  equally  the  same  kind-hearted  gentleman  of  to-day.  He  is 
fifty-nine  years  old. 


Mr.  Barton  was  born  in  Ohio  in  18 10;  was  a  millwright  by 
trade,  and  put  in  the  first  water-wheel  in  one  of  the  mills  at  St. 
Anthony  P^alls.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  to  reside  in  1848,  and 
purchased  several  acres  on  Phelan  creek,  near  where  Bilanski 
lived;  sold    this  property  for  JS800 ;    worth  now  ;>  100,000;    re- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3nNN.  81 

moved  to  the  flats  of  West  St.  Paul  in   1849  or  '50,  where  he 
laid  claim  to   160  acres;  sold  them  for  ;^i,500 — worth  now,  in 
view    of  new   railroads,  at    least  prospectively,  ;^500,ooo!     He 
then  purchased  144  acres  on  the  Fort  road,  for  ;^900,  where  he 
lived   many  years   and   died    in    1882,  aged   seventy-two.     His 
property  on  the  Fort  road  is  well  worth  ;^2,ooo  per  acre,  which 
would  have  made  his  purchase  there  worth  near  ^300,000.     Of 
the  original  estate,  however,  there  are  only  about  twenty  acres 
left,  which,  on  his  death,  fell  to  his  children,  Mrs.  Barton  having 
died  some  years  before.     Mr.  Barton  dealt  in  stock,  horses  and 
furs.     He  was  a  tall,  well-made  man ;   slow  in  his  movements 
and  in  his  conversation,  but  honest  in  his  dealings.     He  lived  a 
plain,  frugal  life;  hated  ostentation  and  clung  to  the  old  ideas 
of  the  past.     W.  T.  Barton,  his  oldest  son,  now  aged  35  years, 
was  born  in  this  city,  but  has  of  late  years  made  Montana  his 
home.     Rudolph,  his  next  son,  is  a  dentist.     All  of  the  girls  are 
married  but  one,  who  resides  with  her  brother. 


"  Billy  Phillips  "  was  well  known  among  all  the  old  settlers, 
for  he  had  marked  peculiarities  which  distinguished  him  above 
all  other  men.  He  was  born  in  Maryland  and  was  a  lawyer  by 
profession,  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848.  Although  made  a 
butt  of  in  the  day  in  which  he  lived,  yet  he  was  a  man  of  con- 
siderable ability.  He  was  passionately  fond  of  speaking,  and  if 
he  had  been  duly  appreciated  no  doubt  he  would  have  left  a 
better  record  behind  him.  The  only  trouble  with  Phillips  was, 
he  practiced  too  often  at  the  "  bar,"  and  he  seemed  to  be  more 
spiritually  inclined  than  his  associates,  and  in  view  of  the  great 
latitude  of  these  early  days,  that  is  saying  a  good  deal. 

**In  1849  ^'  M'  Rice  gave,  without  consideration,  to  Billy  D.  several  lots, 
one  on  upper  Third  street  about  a  square  below  the  American  House.  Mr.  Rice 
told  him  to  make  out  the  deed  and  he  would  sign  it,  which  was  done.  Be  it  recorded 
as  an  instance  of  mean  ingratitude,  that  Billy  subsequently  brought  a  claim  against 
Mr.  Rice  for  $5,  for  making  out  the  deed,  and  Mr.  R.  paid  it  One  lot  Phillips  sold 
in  1852  for  $600." — Williams. 

"the  balance  just  as  good." 

Phillips  made  a  speech  on  Kossuth,  and  in  an  evil  moment 
Goodhue  agreed  to  publish  it,  so  Billy  piled  in  the  manuscript 


upon  him,  over  forty  pages  in  legal  cap,  until  he  plainly  saw 
that  the  speech  would  take  up  all  his  paper,  and  he  was  in  great 
perturbation  of  mind  what  to  do.  After  walking  the  floor  in  deep 
meditation,  he  decided  to  print  a  column,  and  then  added  in 
parenthesis — *'  The  balance  of  the  speech  is  just  as  good."  After 
the  publication  Phillips  came  in  with  a  large  hickory  club  and 
two  pistols  and  went  for  Goodhue  in  true  western  style,  who 
finally  compromised  with  him  by  giving  him  a  receipt  in  full  for 
an  old  advertising  bill  which  he  never  expected  to  get,  and 
Phillips  went  away  somewhat  mollified.  Phillips  was  a  queer 
fellow ! 

EDWIN    A.  C.  HATCH. 

To  write  about  St.  Paul  and  not  mention  Mr.  Hatch,  w^ould 
be  like  playing  Hamlet  with  Hamlet  left  out,  for  he  was  among 
the  very  earliest  men  who  attracted  the  writer's  attention,  aw^ay 
back  thirty-two  years  ago.  There  was  something  peculiar  and 
striking  about  the  man,  which  at  once  arrested  the  attention  of 
everybody,  and  his  long  familiarity  with  Western  life  made  him 
a  valuable  companion.  He  was  born  in  New  York  in  1825;. 
came  to  Minnesota  in  1843,  ^^^^  St.  Paul  in  1848.  He  was 
largely  engaged  in  the  Indian  trade  throughout  the  Northw^est, 
and  understood  the  character  of  the  savages  as  well  as  any  man 
living.  He  was  at  one  time  agent  of  the  Blackfeet  tribe,  a  very 
cruel  and  warlike  people,  but  he  held  them  in  check,  and  though 
often  narrowly  escaping  with  his  life,  conquered  them.  It  is 
related  of  him  that  once  w^hen  the  Indians  attempted  to  appro- 
priate goods  without  his  permission,  he  coolly  opened  a  keg  of 
powder,  lighted  his  pipe  and  told  them  to  go  ahead,  and  they 
went  ahead,  but  it  was  a  good  way  in  advance  of  the  powder. 
Indians  don't  like  thunder  storms  of  this  character!  All  the  old 
Minnesota  soldiers  remember  **  Hatch's  Battalion."  Well,  he 
was  Major  of  this  battalion  in  1863,  and  held  in  check  the 
hostile  Indians  on  our  frontier  for  about  one  year,  when  he 


When  stationed  at  Pembina  he  found  that  two  of  the  noto- 
rious chiefs  who  had  taken  a  prominent  part  in  our  Indian 
massacre,  were  over  the  border  in  Canada.     Of  course  they  could 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  S3 

not  be  taken  as  prisoners  the  other  side  of  the  line,  so  he 
employed  strategy  in  the  shape  of  copious  rations  of  fire-water, 
and  when  Mr.  Indians  became  gently  impressive,  they  were 
bound  to  dog  sleds,  and  the  next  morning  Shakopee  and  Medi- 
cine Bottle  woke  up  to  find  themselves  within  the  boundary  of 
the  United  States.  They  were  held  in  bondage  for  some  time  at 
Fort  Snelling,  and  were  finally  hung  at  that  place  in  1865. 
Among  other  crimes  committed  by  these  ferocious  Indians,  it  is 
alleged  that  one  of  them  seized  an  infant,  crowded  it  into  the 
oven  of  a  hot  stove,  and  held  the  mother  tightly  in  his  grasp 
until  it  was  roasted. 


Major  Hatch  was  an  ordinary  sized  man,  straight  as  an 
arrow,  with  a  complexion  quite  florid.  He  was  always  cool, 
dignified,  somewhat  reserved,  yet  pleasant.  Some  years  ago  he 
purchased  thirty  acres  of  land  on  the  bluff  overlooking  the  city, 
now  the  property  of  Mr.  Wm.  Nettleton,  for  which  he  paid  about 
$10  per  acre.  He  then  built  a  very  fine  house  upon  the  premi- 
ses, and  finally  sold  the  property  to  the  present  owner.  What 
Major  Hatch  then  paid  ;^io  per  acre  for  is  now  worth  ;^30,ooo, 
or  ;s&i,ooo  per  acre!  A  few  years  before  he  died  he  was  in  the 
employ  of  the  Manitoba  Railroad  Company.  He  was  a  kind- 
hearted  gentleman,  an  affectionate  husband  and  father,  and  his 
memory  is  very  generally  cherished  by  those  who  knew  him. 
He  died  in  1881. 


In  1853  I  saw  a  bright,  brilliant,  black-eyed  girl  swinging 
on  a  gate  which  led  to  a  small  white  house  on  Third  street,  the 
home  of  A.  T.  C.  Pierson.  She  was  full  of  youthful  hope  and 
happiness — the  very  picture  at  that  time  of  a  beautiful  young 
girl,  and  merry  thoughts  bubbled  all  over  in  her  twinkling  eyes 
as  she  toyed  with  the  rainbow  tints  of  the  future.  Later  she 
became  the  wife  of  Major  Hatch ;  later  still  the  widow,  sur- 
rounded with  a  family  ;  and  although  dark  clouds  of  sorrow  have 
shut  out  a  great  deal  of  the  sunshine  of  her  married  life,  still  the 
charming  Lotta  of  thirty-one  years  ago  is  still  the  matured, 
motherly,  matronly,  pleasant  Lotta  of  1885. 

84  ■     ]*EN  PICTURES 


William  H.  Nobles  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848;  opened  a 
wagon  maker's  shop  and  turned  out  the  first  wagon  ever  made 
in  Minnesota.  In  1856  he  was  elected  a  representative  to  the 
Legislature  from  Ramsey  County ;  laid  out  a  wagon  road  to  the 
Pacific  Ocean  ;  discovered  one  of  the  best  passes  to  the  Rocky 
Mountains;  entered  the 'army  ;  was  elected  Lieutenant  Colonel 
of  the  Seventy-ninth  New  York  Volunteers ;  was  Cotton  Col- 
lector for  the  government  in  the  South  ;  U.  S.  Revenue  officer ; 
Master  of  Transportation  of  troops  ;  and  at  the  conclusion  of  the 
war,  broken  down  in  health,  he  repaired  to  the  Waukesha  Springs, 
Wisconsin,  and  then  to  the  Hot  Springs,  Colorado,  but  his  health 
continuing  to  fail,  he  returned  to  St.  Paul  and  died  in  one  of  our 
hospitals,  aged  about  sixty  years. 

NOBLES    AS    A  MAN. 

Mr.  Nobles  used  to  live  in  a  brick  house  which  stood  in  the 
middle  of  Rice  street  on  the  Como  road.  He  was  not  an  edu- 
cated  man,  but  possessed  good  natural  abilities.  He  had  great 
confidence  in  himself;  was  ambitious,  inventive,  social,  aspiring, 
very  self-reliant,  and  withal,  progressive.  He  was  a  man  of 
energy,  as  was  illustrated  in  his  trip  to  the  mountains,  and  he  was 
also  a  hard  worker.  The  old  settlers  will  remember  him  as  a 
good  deal  of  a  politician,  with  a  hasty  temper,  but  possessing 
many  fine  traits  of  character  which  still  live  as  a  memory  of  the 


It  is  somewhat  remarkable  that  St.  Paul,  originally  situated 
two  hundred  miles  from  any  other  important  point,  away  from 
railroads,  and  struggling  for  existence  amid  Indians  and  half- 
breeds,  had  no  outbursts  of  violence  of  any  character  up  to  1848, 
nor  since ;  that  is,  there  has  been  no  great  shock  of  border  ruf- 
fianism which  required  the  interposition  of  a  vigilance  commit- 
tee, as  is  now  and  has  been  the  case  in  other  frontier  towns.  We 
have  had  no  riots,  no  wanton  destruction  of  property,  no  public 
grievances  which  required  the  people  to  redress  ;  no  loss  of  life, 
except  a  few  murders ;  no  burdens  of  men  in  power,  nor  the  im- 
position of  rich  men  upon  the  poor ;  but  society  has  gradually 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  85 

qioulded  itself  silently  into  the  better  forms  of  civilization  with- 
out those  deleterious  influences  incident  to  the  growth  of  other 
places.  This  is  really  remarkable,  and  due  credit  should  be  given 
to  the  Catholic  religion,  which  early  prevailed  in  this  section,  and 
which  held  in  check  the  rougher  elements  of  life.  It  is  very  true 
whisky  was  sold  and  drunk,  and  yet  I  hear  of  no  damaging 
results  from  it  except  to  the  parties  indulging,  so  that  St.  Paul  can 
very  justly  point  to  her  past  history  with  great  pride  and  admi- 
ration. It  is  also  remarkable  that  of  about  thirty  old  settlers, 
most  of  whom  have  taken  prominent  part  in  our  affairs,  more 
than  twenty-five  came  from  Prairie  du  Chien  ;  that  is,  they  emi- 
grated to  that  town,  remained  there  a  short  time,  and  then  pushed 
on  to  St.  Paul,  and  have  ever  since  been  identified  with  our  in- 


That  tall  man  who  has  been  traveling  our  streets  for  a  quar- 
ter of  a  century  and  over,  and  who,  to  use  a  border  expression, 
has  been  a  "  rustler,"  is  the  well-known  Nathan  Myrick,  who 
was  born  in  New  York  State  in  1822,  and  who  at  the  age  of  eigh- 
teen years  came  to  La  Crosse  and  laid  out  that  town,  a  good 
slice  of  which  he  still  owns.  Mr.  Myrick  entered  largely  into  lum- 
bering in  Wisconsin  in  the  years  1841  up  to  1848,  when  he  came 
to  St.  Paul  and  engaged  quite  extensively  in  the  Indian  trade, 
having  at  one  time  stores  at  St.  Peter,  Traverse  de  Sioux,  Winne- 
bago Agency,  Yellow  Medicine,  Red  Wood  Agency,  Big  Stone 
Lake,  and  at  Lake  Traverse.  Mr.  Myrick  was  also  at  one  period 
largely  interested  in  property  at  Lake  Superior.  At  the  time  of 
the  Indian  outbreak  all  his  stores  at  the  above  named  places 
were  destroyed  by  the  savages,  and  while  Mr.  Myrick  received 
some  recompense  of  the  government  for  his  losses,  he  has  other 
claims  which  he  has  been  pressing  at  Washington  about  every 
winter  for  several  years  past.  Of  late  he  has  been  connected 
with  various  enterprises  which  required  brains,  money  and  pluck, 
but  just  now  what  he  is  doing,  I  do  not  know. 


Mr.  Myrick  is  a  marked  character  on  the  street  in  conse- 
quence of  his  height.  In  one  respect  he  is  like  Hiawatha,  "  for  at 
each  stride  a  mile  he  measures,"  while  like  his  prototype  he  used 


to  deal  largely  in  Indian  trinkets.  He  is  somewhat  nervous,  yet 
has  a  good  deal  of  nerve,  and  when  he  sets  out  to  do  a  thing  he 
does  it,  if  it  can  be  done.  He  is  venturesome ;  a  man  of  great 
energy ;  reaches  out  into  the  future ;  goes  in  on  his  judgment,  and 
if  he  gets  tripped,  he  don't  "  kick,"  as  the  boys  say,  but  *'  picks 
his  flint  and  tries  again."  His  head  is  round,  his  eyes  small  and 
piercing,  a  nose  denoting  courage,  with  a  full  flowing  beard  and 
a  well  put  up  body,  mark  him  as  an  advanced  guard  in  the  wave 
of  civilization.  He  married  a  Miss  Rebecca  Ismon,  of  Vermont, 
in  1843,  who  is  still  living.     Of  eight  children  three  survive. 


Mr.  Cavender  still  clings  to  life  although  he  had  what 
resembled  a  paralytic  stroke  years  ago,  and  the  doctors  said  he 
could  not  remain  with  us  but  a  short  time,  and  then  he  immedi- 
ately discarded  all  medicine  and  all  physicians  and  began  to 
improve  rapidly,  and  is  now  quite  well.  He  w^as  born  in  New 
Hampshire  in  181 5;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848;  commenced 
blacksmithing  and  wagon-making  on  Robert  street,  having  pur- 
chased the  establishment  of  Wm.  H.  Nobles ;  married  Miss 
Elvira,  daughter  of  Daniel  Hopkins,  and  continued  in  business 
for  many  years,  when  he  sold  out  to  Quimby  &  Hallowell. 


as  he  is  more  generally  known — having  been  a  prominent  deacon 
in  the  Baptist  Church  for  several  years  past — is  a  thin,  spare  man, 
with  sharp  features  and  with  bright,  twinkling  eyes,  a  long  gray 
beard,  and  always  wears  a  pleasant  smile.  He  is  a  quiet,  good 
citizen,  interested  in  religious  matters,  and  has  a  happy  faculty  of 
minding  his  own  business,  and  thus,  with  a  pleasant  word  for 
everybody,  glides  smoothly  along  down  the  hill  of  life,  greatly 
respected  as  one  of  our  oldest  and  best  citizens. 


Mr.  Freeborn  was  born  in  1816  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848  ; 
at  one  time  owned  considerable  property  in  this  city  and  county  ; 
was  a  member  of  our  City  Council ;  removed  to  Red  Wing  in 
1853,  where  he  had  large  interests;  also  at  Cannon  Falls  ;  was 
a  member  of  the  Legislature  in  1854-5-6-7,  and  Freeborn  County 
was  named  after  him.     He  was  known  as  one  of  the  trio  of  Free- 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  87 

born,  Daniels  and  Moss,  but  in  1862  he  emigrated  to  the  Rocky 
Mountains  and  finally  settled  in  California.  He  was  a  man  of 
progressive  and  speculative  ideas,  energetic,  always  scheming, 
and  had  a  happy  faculty  of  getting  other  parties  interested  in  his 
enterprises.  He  was  a  quietly  spoken  man,  of  rugged  appear- 
ance ;  self-possessed,  and  never  was  afraid  to  venture. 


was  a  native  of  Connecticut ;  a  lawyer,  a  speaker,  an  editor,  and 
a  man  of  considerable  ability.  He  settled  in  St.  Paul  in  1848 
and  took  a  prominent  part  in  the  Stillwater  convention.  Domes- 
tic difficulties  drove  him  to  drink,  so  that  his  brain  became 
disordered,  and  he  put  an  end  to  his  brilliant  career  by  jumping 
from  the  roof  of  a  steamer  while  on  her  way  from  Galena  to  St. 
Paul,  and  died  at  the  age  of  thirty  years. 


This  gentleman  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848  and  remained 
Tiere  only  a  short  time,  being  connected  with  David  Olmsted. 
He  owned  some  property  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Jackson 
streets,  where  he  had  a  store  and  dwelling  house,  but  finally 
returned  to  Indiana  and  died  in  California. 


•was  born  in  New  York  in  181 5  ;  came  to  St.  Paul,  in  1848,  at 
which  time  he  says  there  were  only  sixteen  families.  He  mined 
for  lead  in  Galena  at  an  early  day,  and  built  the  first  brick  store 
■on  Jackson  street  that  had  marble  window  caps  and  marble  door 
jams.  He  was  in  trade  here  a  number  of  years  and  finally 
accepted  the  position  as  right-of-way  agent  for  the  Manitoba 
road,  and  though  somewhat  advanced  in  years  he  performed  his 
duties  well  and  made  some  money.  Mr.  Morrison  is  a  thick-set 
man,  cool  and  methodical  in  his  movements  ;  quiet  and  unosten- 
tatious in  manner,  and  as  a  business  man,  energetic.  He  lives  on 
part  of  the  acre  he  bought  of  "  feather  Hoyt "  for  ^40,  on  Jackson 
street,  where  he  has  made  it  his  home  for  over  a  quarter  of  a 
century.  He  has  several  sons  grown  to  manhood.  The  young- 
est son,  Samuel,  studied  law  with  Gov.  Davis,  and  is  now- 
practicing  in  the  city.  Mr,  H.  is  a  quiet,  pleasant  gentleman, 
and  very  generally  esteemed  by  those  who  know  him. 



was  a  lead  miner  at  Galena,  and  on  moving  to  St.  Paul  in  1848 
he  purchased  the  property  on  the  corner  of  Wabasha  and  Third 
streets,  now  known  as  the  Warner  block.     In  1853  I  was  offered 
this  property  for  ;^  1,700,  and  upon  it    stood    a    small  building 
occupied  by  the  Marshall  Brothers,  where  they  sold  Sligo  iron 
and  other  hardware.     The  same  property  would  probably  now 
bring  $50,000.     "  But  why  didn't  you  buy  it?  "  asks  a  real  estate 
dealer.     "  Well,  for  several  reasons :     First — I  did  not  think  the 
property  was  worth  the  amount  asked.     Second — I  did  not  then 
think  St.  Paul  would  ever  grow  to  reach   120,000  people;  and, 
Third — I  hadn't  the  money."     And  so  the  years  have  come  and 
gone  ;  the  city  has  continued  to  grow ;  real  estate  has  constantly 
advanced;  and  even  wise  men,  and  moneyed  men,  and  sagacious 
men,  and  business  men,  have  all  been  deceived  in  their  estima- 
tion of  the  value  of  real  estate  in  the  present  bustling,  growing, 
solid,  tangible  city  of  St.  Paul,  less  than  forty  years  ago  a  place 
of  nine  cabins  and  fifty  inhabitants  !     Why  didn't  the  people  of 
that  period  buy  and  hold  all  the  land  then  in  sight  ?     Echo  asks, 
"  Why  ?  " 

don't    grumble IT    IS    A    LAW. 

The  old  settler  fifty-five  or  sixty  years  of  age,  with  a  grown- 
up family  about  him,  begins  to  feel  that  he  is  being  pushed  out 
of  the  way  by  the  younger  elements  which  surround  him.  The 
old  places  where  he  used  to  keep  his  books,  and  his  papers,  and 
his  hat,  and  his  boots,  have  been  appropriated  to  other  purposes, 
and  even  the  old  rocking-chair  in  which  he  has  sat  for  so  many 
years,  he  is  daily  in  fear  of  being  removed  out  of  his  reach  for- 
ever, and  in  its  place  to  find  a  new  and  stylish  double-and- 
twisted-back-brcaking-modern-institution,  in  keeping  with  the 
new-fangled  notions  of  this  modern  age.  Then  again  the 
cooking  is  not  just  what  it  used  to  be,  for  the  children  have 
got  possession  of  the  mother  and  are  moulding  her  to  their 
ideas  of  ''  style."  And  then  again,  "  Papa  doesn't  keep  up  with 
the  age !  What  is  pleasant  to  him,  isn't  pleasant  to  us.  He 
wants  to  sit  by  the  fire  and  read  his  paper ;  we  want  to  dance  ; 
he  is  sober  and  thoughtful,  and  likes  to  talk  of  the  past ;  we  like 
fun;  he  is  too  cautious  and    holds  us  back,  but  we  guess  we 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  89 

know  what  we  are  about;  he  is  a  Httle  old-fashioned  in  his 
notions,  but  then  we  have  to  humor  him.  It  is  so  strange  that 
people  as  they  grow  old  have  such  peculiar  ideas  of  life ! 
Wonder  if  we  will  ever  be  like  that  good,  kind  old  father  ? 
Hope  not."  And  the  young,  and  thoughtless,  and  buoyant,  and 
gay,  and  ambitious,  and  loving  children,  thus  imperceptibly  and 
unknowingly  gradually  push  '*  the  old  man  "  along  to  the  end  of 
the  log  where  he  sits  musing  upon  the  past. 

Now,  my  friend,  look  at  the  matter  philosophically.  The 
tree  grows  and  sends  out  its  branches.  Its  grand  limbs  have 
stood  the  storms  of  many  winters,  and  under  its  cooling  shade 
hundreds  have  gathered  to  shield  themselves  from  the  piercing 
rays  of  the  noonday  sun.  In  course  of  time  new  shoots  are 
visible  just  below  the  old  limbs,  and  as  these  new  shoots  put 
forth  their  vigor  they  draw  vitalizing  power  from  the  roots,  and 
the  old  limbs  begin  to  droop,  and  then  in  their  growth  the 
younger  shoots,  under  a  law  of  nature,  commence  quietly  to 
crowd  out  the  old  limbs,  and  they  fade,  sicken,  die,  drop,  while 
the  new  limbs  take  their  places,  to  be  in  turn  pushed  out  by  the 
same  law  as  that  which  acted  upon  their  parents.  We  cannot 
expect  our  children  to  entertain  the  same  views  of  life  that  we 
do.  It  is  an  impossibility  to  be  always  young,  and  what  may 
appear  to  us  as  innovations  upon  our  own  rights,  is  but  the 
natural  growth  of  human  nature.  Don't  flatter  yourself  that 
you  are  the  only  man  of  advanced  years  who  is  jostled  and 
crowded  by  "  the  young  bloods  "  of  your  own  household,  for 
such  is  not  the  case ;  the  law  is  general,  and  all  must  sooner  or 
later  bow  in  submission  to  it.  And  yet,  there  is  a  consolation, 
and  we  have  it  in  the  following  beautiful  lines  from  the  lamented 
poetess,  Adelaide  Proctor : — 

"What  is  Life,  father?" 

"A  battle,  my  child, 
Where  the  strongest  lance  may  fail, 
Where  the  wariest  eyes  may  be  beguiled, 

And  the  stoutest  heart  may  quail. 
Where  the  foes  are  gathered  on  every  hand, 

And  rest  not  day  or  night, 
And  the  feeble  little  ones  must  stand 
In  the  thickest  of  the  fight." 


"What  is  Death,  father?" 

"The  Rest,  my  child, 

When  the  strife  and  toil  are  o'er; 
The  angel  of  God,  who,  calm  and  mild. 

Says  we  need  fight  no  more ; 
Who,  driving  away  the  demon  band, 

Bids  the  din  of  the  battle  cease; 
Takes  banner  and  spear  from  our  failing  hand, 

And  proclaims  an  eternal  peace." 


Born  in  Canada  in  1822,  Mr.  Duion  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1848,  or  thirty-seven  years  ago,  unable  at  that  time  to  speak  a 
word  of  EngHsh.  He  is  a  real  live,  active  Canadian-Frenchman, 
and  although  sixty-three  years  old  is  as  bright  and  as  fresh  and 
as  jolly  as  a  boy  of  twenty  years.  He  was  the  first  miller  in  the 
city,  and  is  a  miller  by  trade,  though  at  odd  times  he  ran  a  steam 


OUT    OF   LUCK. 

He  purchased  a  lot  in  Kittson's  addition  for  ;^  1,000;  sold  It 
for  ;$2,ooo ;  worth  $15,000;  owned  a  lot  on  the  corner  of  Cedar 
and  Ninth  streets,  for  which  he  paid  $2,000  ;  worth  now  $15,000. 
In  1857  he  removed  to  Pig's  Eye,  and  with  $8,000  established  a 
saw  mill,  sank  all  his  money,  and  came  back  poor  and  barefooted 
to  St.  Paul,  where  he  has  since  resided. 


On  the  corner  of  Cedar  and  Minnesota  streets  was  a  large 
pond  of  water,  and  in  1848  Duion  used  to  shoot  ducks  that  swam 
upon  its  surface.  After  he  came  to  St.  Paul  everything  looked 
so  uninviting  that  he  became  disgusted  and  wanted  to  get  away, 
but  he  could  not,  for  he  had  no  money.  He  had  not  the  faintest 
conception  then  that  St.  Paul  would  grow  to  what  it  is  now,  or  he 
might  have  been  a  very  rich  man. 


As  I  have  already  said,  he  could  not  speak  EngHsh,  but  he 
undertook  to  drive  oxen  for  a  living,  and  as  he  did  not  under- 
stand "  haw "  from  *'  gee,"  his  oxen  went  directly  opposite  to 
what  he  wanted  them  to  do.  One  day  he  was  passing  a  small 
house  where  there  was  a  good-sized  cabbage  garden  owned  by 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  iMTXN.  91 

a  widow,  and  he  yelled  out  "  haw,"  and  the  oxen  started  for  the 
cabbages  on  a  run,  and  before  he  could  comprehend  the  fact  that 
he  should  have  said  "  gee,"  a  greater  portion  of  the  cabbages 
had  been  devoured,  and  the  widow  came  very  near  killing  him 
for  his  ignorance.  **  Oh  !  my  !  but  dat  vas  one  very  great  time. 
How  dat  old  woman  did  saccreme  ;  did  say,  *  By  damn ! '  "^ 


Mr.  Duion  is  a  small  man  and  a  constant  laborer.  He  is 
frank,  cheerful,  active,  and  philosophical.  He  has  a  nice  little 
home,  has  raised  a  family  of  five  children,  four  boys  and  a  girl, 
and  three  of  his  boys  are  engineers.  He  looks  upon  the  bright 
side  of  life,  and  though  sometimes  he  may  feel  a  little  sad  at 
"  what  might  have  been,"  yet  he  brushes  away  the  cobwebs  of 
the  past  and  laughs  in  the  sunshine  of  the  present,  as  he  sings  : 

**  Let  us  pause  in  life's  pleasures  and  count  its  many  tears, 
While  we  all  sup  sorrow  with  the  poor; 
There's  a  song  that  will  linger  forever  in  our  ears, 
Oh,  hard  times,  come  again  no  more, 

"  'Tis  the  song,  the  sigh  of  the  weary, 
Hard  times,  hard  times,  come  again  no  more; 
Many  days  you  have  wandered  around  my  cabin  door. 
Oh,  hard  times  come  again  no  more." 

And  thus  in  his  quiet  little  cottage  home  he  no  doubt  enjoys 
more  of  life's  sweetness  than  many  who  count  their  millions.  And 
why  should  he  not?  He  has  less  to  annoy  him,  less  to  burden 
him,  less  to  fret  him,  less  to  make  him  stingy  and  mean,  less  to 
force  him  to  be  hypocritical  and  overbearing,  less  to  take  away 
the  best  attributes  of  a  man,  and  more  to  bring  out  the  qualities 
that  adorn  the  brows  of  those  who  toil  for  their  daily  bread. 
God  aid  the  poor  and  the  lowly  in  all  the  walks  of  life,  for  they 
are  nearer  the  perfection  of  manhood  than  those  who  are  warped 
and  distorted  by  their  everlasting  greed  for  money !  money ! 
money  !     Pleasant  cottage  !  humble  home  !  happy  Duion  ! 


Mr.  Monteur,  to  whom  allusion  has  already  been  made, 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848,  and  claims  to  be  the  oldest  black- 
smith in  the  city,  even  ranking  Col.  Wm.  H.  Nobles,  of  whom 


I  have  written.  He  was  born  in  1812,  and  is  now  seventy-three 
years  of  age.  He  was  among  the  old  French  settlers,  and  can- 
not realize  the  great  growth  the  city  has  made  since  he  first 
came  here.  He  bought  a  lot  of  Louis  Robert  for  ^70,  sold  it 
back  to  him  again  for  ;^  1,000;  worth  now  ^20,000.  Joseph  Vii- 
laume,  born  in  France,  and  who  came  here  in  1849,  is  now  dead, 
and  I  can  glean  but  little  information  about  him,  except  that 
which  I  give  in  another  chapter. 


Born  in  New  York  in  1828;  learned  the  carpenter's  trade; 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848;  worked  at  his  business;  was  twelve 
years  in  Wisconsin  ;  in  1858  carried  on  the  wholesale  and  retail 
grocery  business  in  St.  Paul;  entered  the  army  in  1861  ;  re- 
mained in  the  service  two  years  as  Orderly  Sergeant  of  Com- 
pany D ;  lived  in  Ohio  and  Michigan  several  years,  and 
since  then  has  resided  in  St.  Paul.  Mr.  Irvine  is  a  brother  of 
John  and  George.  He  is  a  tall,  slender  man  ;  quiet  in  his  habits 
and  unpretending  in  his  manners.  Last  year,  to  add  to  his 
other  troubles,  he  met  with  a  serious  accident  to  his  left  hand. 
He  once  owned,  or  supposed  he  owned,  fifty-one  acres  in  the 
city,  fronting  the  river,  which  cost  him  ^60 ;  worth  now  ^1,000- 
000.  It  is  the  old  song — tee-ter-taunter  !  tee-ter-taunter  !  one  is 
up  while  the  other  is  down!  tee-ter-taunter!  He  is  now  the  jan- 
itor at  the  Capitol. 

JOHN    F.  HOYT. 


Mr.  Hoyt  is  a  son  of  the  late  B.  F.  Hoyt,  and  was  born  in 
Ohio  in  1830;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1848;  went  to  school  to 
D.  A.  J.  Baker,  and  he  says  he  was  an  admirable  teacher,  the 
best  he  ever  had ;  took  singing  lessons  with  L.  M.  Ford  ; 
worked  in  the  wagon  shop  of  Col.  Wm.  H.  Nobles  one  winter ; 
saw  the  first  printing  press  landed,  and  aided  in  squaring  the 
first  chase  in  which  to  hold  the  forms  of  the  old  Pioneer.  Then 
was  three  years  at  school  East;  returned  home  and  studied  law 
with  Ames  and  Van  Etten  ;  was  admitted  to  the  bar  by  terri- 
torial judges,  but  never  practiced.  Where  the  State  Capitol  and 
High  School  buildings  now  stand,  he  used  to  trap  for  foxes. 
He  has  seen  most  of  the  land  upon  which  St.  Paul  now  stands 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  93 

taken  up  at  government  price — ^1.25  per  acre — or  by  land  war- 
rants, which  cost  even  less.  He  thinks  this  same  land  is  now 
worth  ;^  1 00,000,000.  To  the  casual  reader  these  figures  may 
appear  large,  but  when  an  estimate  is  made  of  what  all  the  land 
is  worth  upon  which  St.  Paul  now  stands,  it  will  be  found  that 
Mr.  Hoyt's  figuring  is  not  much  out  of  the  way.  He  held  the 
office  of  Judge  of  Probate  twice ;  was  County  Auditor ;  County 
Commissioner ;  a  charter  member  of  the  St.  Paul  Library  Asso- 
ciation ;  was  engaged  in  the  milling  business  several  years ;  has 
been  and  is  now  a  member  of  the  board  of  public  works  and  a 
water  commissioner.  Of  late  years  he  has  been  largely  inter- 
ested in  the  settlement  of  important  estates,  and  has  never  had 
any  trouble  in  getting  bondsmen,  a  fact  which  shows  the  con- 
fidence reposed  in  his  honesty,  his  honor  and  his  manhood. 


He  purchased  forty  acres  of  land  in  Rose  township,  for 
^22  per  acre,  now  worth  ;^500  per  acre;  and  some  for  $50  per 
acre,  now  worth  $600  per  acre;  gave  ;^i,300  for  a  block  on 
Dayton's  bluff,  now  worth  $25,000.  He  could  not  even  con- 
ceive thirty-six  years  ago  that  St.  Paul  would  be  the  city  it  is 
to-day,  and  hence  he  placed  no  value  upon  real  estate,  and 
yet  he  has  seen  hundreds  of  grand  bargains  slip  out  from  under 
his  hands. 

He  speaks  in  the  highest  terms  of  the  old  settlers ;  of  their 
integrity,  honor,  enterprise,  manhood,  and  of  their  kindliness  of 
heart.  Having  known  many  of  them  he  thinks  there  never 
was  a  better  class  of  people  in  any  community. 

"  I    WANT    THE    GIRL." 

In  1856,  when  about  twenty-six  years  of  age,  young  Hoyt 
made  a  trip  to  Washington,  and  while  there  he  fell  in  love  with  a 
niece  of  Senator  Douglas  and  she  reciprocated  his  feelings,  but 
being  a  young  man  unknown  to  the  family,  he  met  with  opposi- 
tion. Becoming  somewhat  desperate,  he  called  upon  Hon.  H.  M. 
Rice,  our  delegate  in  Congress,  who  quietly  heard  his  story  and 
then  asked — "  Well,  what  do  you  want  ?  "  to  which  he  promptly 
replied — "  Why,  I  want  the  girl."  Mr.  Rice  smilingly  remarked, 
"  I  shall  see  the  family,  shall  dine  with  them  to-day ;  call 
to-morrow."     Young  Hoyt  called  and  soon  after   got  his  girl 


and  married  her,  but  she  died  some  years  afterwards,  and  in 
memory  of  the  part  Mr.  Rice  took  in  the  matter  Mr.  Hoyt 
looks  upon  him  as  not  only  being  a  prince  then  but  as  a  lord 
now ;  for  few  men  would  have  turned  aside  from  the  cares  and 
duties  of  the  United  States  Senate  to  interfere  in  a  matter  of 
love  between  two  young  people. 


On  the  street  Mr.  Hoyt  moves  along  rapidly,  rarely  bowing, 
and  one  would  infer,  not  knowing  him,  that  he  was  somewhat 
misanthropic,  yet  this  peculiarity  in  his  nature  comes  more  from 
a  concentration  of  his  thoughts  and  a  total  abnegation  of  the 
outer  world.  Off  the  street  he  is  one  of  the  most  sociable  of 
men,  free,  frank,  with  a  fine  sprinkling  of  fun.  He  sympathizes 
with  the  Methodist  Church,  of  which  his  father  was  a  devoted 
supporter,  although  he  himself  is  not  a  member.  Politically  he 
is  a  Democrat,  and  has  always  been  elected  when  he  ran  for 
office.  Physically  he  is  a  well-knit  man,  with  all  his  faculties 
well  rounded  out  and  evenly  balanced ;  is  temperate  in  his 
habits ;  sympathetic  in  his  nature ;  devoid  of  rant  or  ostenta- 
tion ;  is  modest ;  retiring ;  avoids  publicity,  and  yet  he  is  quietly 
and  constantly  aiding  many  meritorious  enterprises. 


Born  in  Dubuque,  Iowa,  in  1 846 ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1 848 ;  was  engaged  many  years  on  the  river  bringing  eggs, 
butter  and  other  produce  to  this  market.  He  has  been  a  con- 
tinuous resident  of  this  city  for  many  years,  and  has  seen  many 
and  great  changes.  He  is  a  young  man,  bright,  generous,  active, 
a  lover  of  horses,  devoted  to  his  mother,  and  a  pleasant  citizen ; 
a  man  of  discretion,  sagacity  and  good  judgment. 

Perry  Sloan  was  well  known  to  all  the  old  settlers.  He 
was  a  great  lover  of  the  horse,  and  rode  many  races.  He  was 
an  active,  popular  young  man,  and  accidentally  fell  out  of  a 
window  in  the  Merchants  hotel  and  was  killed,  in  1866,  aged  32 
years.     Came  to  St.  Paul  in  1 848. 


Mr,  Sloan  was  born  in  New  York  State  in  1 808 ;  to 
St.  Paul  in   1848;  was  in  the  lead  regions  of  Wisconsin,  and 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  93 

struck  the  first  lead  in  that  section ;  when  in  this  city  he  carried 
on  the  business  of  house  painting,  and  died  in  1879. 

John's  mother  was  born  in  New  York  in  181 1;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1848,  and  has  Hved  here  ever  since.  She  is  a  fine 
looking  woman,  with  not  a  gray  hair  in  her  head.  Has  had  nine 
children,  seven  of  whom  are  living. 


Col.  Cruttenden,  of  whom  I  have  spoken  briefly  in  another 
place,  left  St.  Louis  in  1846  and  removed  to  Prairie  du  Chien, 
where  he  was  employed  by  Brisbois  &  Rice.  In  1848  he  came 
tqST.  Paul  and  remained  up  to  1850,  when  he  took  up  his  resi- 
dence in  St.  Anthony  and  engaged  in  business  with  R.  P.  Russel. 
He  then  went  to  Crow  Wing  and  was  connected  with  Maj.  J.  W. 
Lynde.  In  1857  he  was  elected  to  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives, and  on  the  breaking  out  of  the  war  was  commissioned 
Captain  Assistant  Quartermaster ;  was  taken  prisoner,  and  on 
being  exchanged  rose  to  the  rank  of  Colonel.  At  the  close  of 
the  war  he  was  honorably  discharged,  and  soon  after  removed 
to  Bayfield,  Wisconsin,  where  he  has  held  many  offices  and  is 
greatly  esteemed.  He  is  a  pleasant,  genial  gentleman,  well 
known  and  well  liked. 


Mr.  C.  was  born  in  1846,  in  Ohio;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1848;  was  a  pupil  of  the  late  Miss  Harriet  E.  Bishop,  and 
attended  the  Washington  and  Adams  schools  until  1861  ;  worked 
in  the  carriage  manufactory  of  his  father,  Dea.  W.  H.  Cavender, 
until  1864,  when  he  was  employed  in  the  Provost  Marshal's 
department  until  August  ist,  1864;  enlisted,  but  did  not  go 
south,  being  on  detached  service  until  May  nth,  1865,  when  he 
was  mustered  out ;  entered  service  in  the  St.  Paul  postoffice  as 
distributing  clerk,  doing  the  work  which  now  requires  twelve 
men  ;  May  ist,  1866,  went  on  the  St.  Paul  &  Pacific  Railroad, 
which  then  was  built  to  Elk  River,  thirty-nine  miles,  as  brake- 
man  ;  was  promoted  to  baggage-master  and  passenger  conductor  ; 
remained  with  that  company  until  1877,  when  he  changed  to  the 
Northern  Pacific,  and  is  now  with  that  company  as  one  of  the 
oldest  passenger  conductors  on  the  road,  or  in  the  State.     Never 


had  an  accident  to  a  train  that  caused  loss  of  Hfe  or  Hmb.  Has 
ahvays  hved  in  St.  Paul  and  always  intends  to.  Married  Decem- 
ber 7,  1869,  to  Miss  Jennie  Nixon,  daughter  of  William  Nixon, 
another  of  our  old  settlers. 

TRAVELED    1,000,000    MILES. 

Mr.  Cavender  is  not  only  the  oldest  passenger  conductor  in 
the  State  of  Minnesota,  having  entered  the  railroad  service  in 
1 866,  or  nineteen  years  ago,  but  he  has  traveled  i  ,000,000  miles, 
and  what  is  remarkable  still,  during  that  time  he  never  had  an 
accident  to  his  train  by  which  a  limb  was  injured  or  a  life  lost. 
This  is  a  remarkable  career  in  the  history  of  a  railroad  conduc- 
tor and  gives  one  the  impression  that  he  bears  a  charmed  life. 
He  made  his  first  trip  over  the  St.  Paul  &  Pacific  road  when 
there  were  only  thirty-nine  miles  of  road  built,  and  has  been  in 
active  service  as  a  railroad  man  from  that  day  to  this,  having 
seen  some  3,000  miles  of  road  constructed  in  this  State  during 
this  time.  Of  course  so  successful  a  railroad  man  must  in  time 
become  president  of  some  gigantic  railroad  system,  and  Presi- 
dent Cavender  would  sound  quite  as  well  as  that  of  Deacon. 


Mr.  Cavender  is  a  stirring  gentleman.  In  his  capacity  of 
conductor  he  is  prompt,  cautious,  careful,  prudent,  quick,  pleas- 
ant, just  the  man  for  the  place.  He  is  a  good  business  operator  ; 
knows  his  duties  and  performs  them,  and  with  the  same  peculiar 
smile  which  ever  glows  over  the  pleasant  face  of  the  good  Dea- 
con. He  speaks  with  his  eyes  ;  comprehends  in  a  minute ;  is  in 
sympathy  with  the  locomotive  ;  is  on  time ;  catches  the  idea  of 
the  traveler  at  once  ;  grasps  the  situation  and  masters  it.  He  is 
physically  not  large,  but  wiry,  a  straight-forward,  manly  gentle- 


Mr.  Murphy  introduced  the  first  two-wheel  dray  into  the 
city,  and  was  generally  known  as  teamster  and  an  ardent  parti- 
san. While  celebrating  the  election  of  H.  M.  Rice  to  Congress, 
who  lived  in  the  only  house  then  on  Summit  avenue,  a  rocket 
pierced  his  body  and  killed  him.  He  was  born  in  Ireland  in 
1827;  emigrated    to    America   in    1846;  resided   for   a  time  in 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  97 

Brooklyn,  New  Orleans,  and  at  Fort  Snelling,  and  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1848.  He  was  noted  principally  for  his  sincere  devotion 
to  the  Democratic  cause,  and  yet  he  was  a  hard-working,  indus- 
trious man. 


Captain  John  Haycock  came  to  St,  Paul  in  1848.  He  was 
a  captain  on  a  river  steamer,  and  then  opened  a  wood  yard  on 
Robert  street,  where  he  carried  on  the  business  for  a  number  of 
years.  Captain  H.  is  a  tall,  quiet  man,  and  has  run  on  the  river 
as  a  steamboat  captain  all  his  life,  and  is  now  engaged  in  that 
occupation,  and  was  so  engaged  at  the  time  he  carried  on  the 
wood  business.     H[e  lives  at  Winnipeg. 


Mr.  Robert  was  born  in  Missouri  in  1830;  worked  on  the 
homestead  until  the  age  of  seventeen  years,  when  his  uncle.  Cap- 
tain Louis  Robert,  brought  him  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  where  he 
finished  his  education  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1 848  ;  kept  books 
for  Louis  Roberts  in  the  old  World's  Fair  store,  which  stood  on 
the  corner  of  Third  and  Robert  streets ;  some  years  later  he 
became  a  partner  not  only  in  all  Mr.  Robert's  stores  but  in  the 
steamboat  trade ;  in  the  early  part  of  the  fifties  he  made  many 
trips  from  Redwood  and  Yellow  Medicine  to  New  York  and 
Philadelphia,  his  money  being  carried  in  a  belt  worn  around  his 
body,  the  usual  way  in  those  days  of  carrying  on  banking.  He 
was  at  one  time  connected  with  W.  K.  Murphy  in  steamboating 
on  the  Minnesota  river,  owning  and  commanding  the  steamers 
Time  and  Tide  and  Jeannett  Robert.  In  i860  he  dissolved  part- 
nership with  his  uncle  and  continued  the  boating  business  alone, 
carrying  troops  during  the  late  war.  At  one  time  he  was  in  the 
employ  of  the  government  at  St.  Louis.  After  giving  up  steam- 
boating  he  engaged  in  general  merchandise  near  Granite  Falls, 
Minnesota,  doing  a  large  and  profitable  business.  In  December, 
i860,  he  married  Miss  Sarah  A.  Clark,  a  teacher  for  some  three 
years  in  what  is  now^  the  public  schools  of  St.  Paul.  He  w^as  a 
member  of  the  Common  Council  at  one  time,  and  died  in  1877, 
greatly  respected,  as  he  was  a  high-toned,  honorable  man,  at 
whose  record  the  finger  of  reproach  was  powerless  to  point.  He 
left  a  widow  and  five  children  in  comfortable  circumstances. 




A  short,  well-knit,  close-grained  man  is  Mr.  Rhodes,  who 
is  an  excellent  engineer  and  a  pleasant,  social  gentleman.  He 
was  born  in  New  York  in  1826,  where  he  was  educated ;  learned 
the  trade  of  a  machinist,  and  in  1 846  visited  the  Lake  Superior 
region  in  the  steamer  Sultana,  of  which  he  was  engineer ;  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1 848  and  engaged  in  the  lumber  business  with  the 
late  David  Fuller ;  then  ran  a  saw  mill ;  was  engineer  on  various 
steamboats  which  plied  on  the  river  for  years,  and  is  the  oldest 
engineer  in  Minnesota.  He  is  at  present  engineer  at  the  GilfiUan 
block,  and  is  recognized  as  one  of  the  oldest  and  most  sprightly 
of  the  old  settlers,  a  jovial,  industrious,  hard-working  citizen. 


OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  99 



First  Newspaper — First  Printing  Press — First  Editor — First  Territorial  Organiza- 
tion— First  Brewery — First  Masonic  Lodge — First  Brick  House — First  Chapel — 
First  Church   Organized — First  Proclamation — First  Legislature — Mrst 
Bricks — First  Baptist  Church — First  Fourth  of  July  Celebration — 
First  Regular  Butcher — First  Bankers — First  County  Election — 
First    Stage   Line — First  Pump — First    Democratic    Con- 
vention— First    Stone    Building — First    Deed  —  First 
Livery  Stable — First  School  System — First  Market 
Woman — First  Burial  Ground — First  Gover- 
nor— First    Court — First  Hardware    and 
Furniture  Stores— First  Bank — First 
Clerk  of  Court — First  Drayman — 
First  Territorial  Officers— First 
Ferry  Boat — First  Register 
of  Deeds. 

Wonderful  Events  of  the  Year  1849. 



June  I,  1849, the  Territory  of  Minnesota  was  organized,  and 
then  the  only  house  in  what  is  no\\-  known  as  upper  town,  or 
above  Wabasha  street,  was  that  occupied  by  the  late  John  R. 
Irvine,  to  which  allusion  has  already  been  made.  It  stood  on 
the  corner  of,  or  near,  Franklin  street  and  Third,  and  around  it 
was  a  luxuriant  growth  of  hazel  brush  and  saplings.  On  the 
corner  of  what  was  once  Fort,  now  Seventh   street  and  Third, 


where  the  old  Winslow  House  used  to  stand,  and  where  Mr.  Fore- 
paugh  has  built  a  large  block  of  stores,  was  a  dense  forest  of 
trees,  and  at  the  foot  of  these  trees  ran  a  lovely  brook,  crossing 
the  crude,  natural  street,  and  dancing  on  its  way  to  the  river  over 
the  ground  on  which  at  present  stands  the  factory  of  Chapman, 
Drake  &  Co. 

POPULATION    IN    THE    TERRITORY    1,000 CITY    1 50. 

One  can  hardly  realize  the  fact  that  in  1849  Minnesota  Ter- 
ritory had  but  about  i,ooo  inhabitants — now,  1885,  1,000,000; 
and  the  city  150 — now,  1885,  120,000;  and  only  thirty  houses 
existed  where  there  are  now  several  thousands,  yet  such  is  the 
truth.  It  is  true  the  bill  had  passed  Congress  organizing  a  Ter- 
ritory, yet  there  was  no  newspaper  here,  no  evidences  of  civiliza- 
tion, except  a  school,  a  church  or  two,  and  plenty  of  saloons ! 
It  was  good  soil  upon  which  to  plant  eastern  intelligence,  and  it 


Probably  the  first  person  who  conceived  the  idea  of  a  news- 
paper in  Minnesota,  was  Dr.  A.  Randall,  of  Cincinnati,  August, 
1 848.  He  subsequently  formed  a  partnership  with  J.  P.  Owens, 
and  they  jointly  issued,  at  Cincinnati,  the  Minnesota  Register, 
dated  St.  Paul,  April  27,  1849,  and  this  was  really  the  first 
newspaper  circulated  in  Minnesota. 

The  first  printing  press  was  owned  by  James  M.  Goodhue, 
and  arrived  at  St.  Paul  April  18,  1849,  and  the  first  bo?ta  fide 
paper  printed  in  this  city  and  in  the  Territory  was  upon  this 
press,  April  28,  1849,  and  called  the  Minnesota  Pioneer, 


Mr.  Goodhue  was  born  in  New  Hampshire  in  18 10;  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1849;  died  on  the  27th  of  August,  1852,  aged  only 
42  years.  He  graduated  from  Amherst  College  in  1832  ;  imme- 
diately commenced  the  study  of  law ;  emigrated  to  Wisconsin, 
where  he  practiced  his  profession  for  a  number  of  years  ;  became 
the  editor  of  the  Wisconsin  Herald ;  removed  to  St.  Paul  in 
1 849  ;  brought  the  first  press  and  the  first  type  to  the  Territory ; 
issued  the  first  paper  printed  in  the  Territory,  and  ran  a  success- 
ful career  as  an  editor  up  to  the  period  of  his  death,  in  1852. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  101 

From  the  time  Mr.  Goodhue  arrived  in  St.  Paul  with  his 
printing  machinery,  the  city  began  to  grow.  The  old  press  upon 
which  his  paper  was  printed  has  been  used  for  some  time  in 
various  country  offices — was  once  in  St.  Cloud ;  then  in  Sauk 
Centre ;  but  where  it  is  now  I  don't  know,  but  I  do  know  where 
it  ought  to  be — that  is,  in  the  Historical  Society,  carefully  pre- 
served. In  his  first  issue  the  editor  said :  "  We  print  and  issue 
the  first  number  of  the  Pioneer  in  a  building  through  which  the 
out-door  is  visible  by  more  than  500  apertures." 

JAMES   M.  GOODHUE   AS    A    MAN. 

James  M.  Goodhue,  the  first  editor  of  the  first  paper  pub- 
lished in  St.  Paul  or  in  thq  Territory  of  Minnesota,  was  one  of 
the  finest  paragraphists  ever  in  the  West.  He  was  a  good-sized 
man,  given  a  little  to  a  rocking  motion  when  he  walked,  but  very 
quick  in  perception  and  quick  to  act.  He  had  also  a  deal  of 
humor,  and  a  vast  amount  of  sarcasm,  which  was  plentifully 
applied  when  his  angry  pen  set  out  to  chastise  an  enemy.  Added 
to  this  was  an  unqualified  great  courage,  and  an  indomitable  will 
power.  He  early  foresaw  the  beauty  and  grandeur  of  Minnesota 
and  the  probable  greatness  of 


and  never  let  an  opportunity  slip  wherein  he  did  not  paint  their 
beauties.  His  industry  was  untiring.  The  columns  of  his  paper 
show  this,  and  had  he  lived  he  would  have  been  an  immense 
power  in  the  land  of  his  adoption,  and  a  man  of  great  wealth. 
Withal  he  was  a  person  of  impulse;  quick  to  resent  what  he 
deemed  a  wrong,  and  yet  magnanimous  in  his  acts.  While  in 
the  discharge  of  what  he  considered  his  duties,  he  had  occasion 
to  severely  criticise  two  old  citizens  and  office  holders  (Col. 
Mitchell  and  Judge  Cooper,)  and  this  criticism  brought  on  a  fight 
between  Goodhue  and  the  friends  of  the  latter. 


Williams,  in  his  history,  says : 

"Goodhue,  immediately  after  the  appearance  of  his  paper,  had  been  in  the  Leg 
islature  and  started  down  street  in  company  with  a  friend.     After  leaving  the  build- 
ing a  few  steps,  they  met  Joseph  Cooper,  a  brother  of  Judge  Cooper,  who  at  once 
advanced  and  struck  at  Goodhue.     Both  then  drew  pistols,  Col.  Goodhue  having  a 


single-barrel  pistol  and  Mr.  Cooper  a  revolver.     Some  parleying  ensued,  when  Mr. 

Cooper  declared — **I'll  blow  your  G d brains  out."     Sheriff  Lull  here  ran 

up  and  commanding  peace,  disarmed  the  parties,  but  it  seems  Cooper  still  retained  a 
knife,  and  Goodhue  another  pistol,  with  which  they  renewed  hostilities.  Some  one 
endeavored  to  hold  Goodhue,  which  gave  Cooper  an  opportunity  to  stab  him  in  the 
abdomen  slightly.  Goodhue  then  broke  away  and  shot  Cooper,  inflicting  quite  a 
serious  wound.  Cooper  again  rushed  on  Goodhue,  stabbed  him  in  the  back,  on  the 
left  side.  Both  parties  were  then  led  away  and  their  wounds  dressed,  neither  being 
fatally  inj  ured.  Col.  Goodhue  seems  to  have  acted  on  the  defensive  during  the 
whole  rencontre." 

I  will  simply  add,  that  while  the  attack  of  Cooper  was 
unjustifiable,  the  language  of  Goodhue  was  also  unjustifiable, 
and  should  never  have  been  used. 


Mr.  Goodhue  was  a  genial  man  in  private  life ;  full  of  wit 
and  humor;  an  able  editor,  a  stirring  citizen,  a  valued  friend. 
Soon  after  arriving  in  St.  Paul,  in  1853,  I  had  occasion  to  sort 
out  some  of  his  letters  then  in  the  office  of  the  Pio7icer,  edited  by 
Joseph  R.  Brown,  now  dead,  when  I  came  across  one  from  Gen. 
Sibley,  then  a  delegate  in  Congress,  which  read  nearly  as  follows  : 

Washington,  D.  C,  Dec,  18 ^j. 

Dear  Goodhue : — I  have  a  letter  which  I  presume  is  from  you,  but  it  has  no 

date  or  signature. 

Yours,  H.  H.  Sibley. 

Such  were  the  peculiarities  of  Mr.  Goodhue  that  when 
absorbed  in  thought  he  would  seize  a  paper  and  write  a  letter 
just  as  he  would  an  editorial,  without  date  or  name.  Mr.  Good- 
hue ran  the  first  ferry  boat,  just  at  the  end  of  what  was  known 
as  Lamb's  Island,  then  located  in  the  river  below  the  Union 
Depot,  now  gone.  He  resided  in  a  neat,  white  house,  which 
stood  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  St.  Peter  streets. 


He  left  a  widow,  who  subsequently  married  Dr.  T.  T.  Mann, 
and  they  have  ever  since  resided  near  or  in  the  city.  Mrs.  Mann 
is  an  exceedingly  pleasant  and  amiable  woman,  always  ready  to 
aid  tlic  afflicted;  quiet,  gentle,  loving,  she  may  justly  be  classed 
with  Mrs.  Irvine  as  among  the  marked  women  of  the  past.  Mrs. 
Tarbox,  I  believe,  is  her  only  daughter  living.  She  also  is  an 
amiable  and  talented  woman,  and  greatly  respected  by  all  who 
know  her.     A  son  formerlv  lived  in  Chicacfo,  but  now  resides  in 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  103 

this  city.  Mr.  Goodhue  left  considerable  property,  which  is  now 
very  valuable,  but  he  left  to  his  widow  and  his  children  that 
which  is  more  endearing  and  more  valuable — a  good  name — a 
fact  quite  as  gratif}'ing  to  the  editorial  fraternity  as  it  is  to  those 
who  more  lovingly  revere  his  memory. 


A  short,  chunky  man  was  Mr.  Presley.  He  was  a  little 
different  from  the  ordinary  cut  of  men  ;  had  a  solid,  lymphatic 
characteristic,  but  a  pensiveness  which  marked  the  man  of 
thought  and  the  man  of  business.  He  was  born  in  Germany  in 
the  year  1 823 ;  was  raised  in  St.  Louis ;  married  in  1 843  ;  moved 
to  Galena  in  1849,  and  thence  came  to  St.  Paul  the  same 
year.  He  commenced  with  nothing  forty  years  ago,  dealing  in 
fruits,  cigars,  &c.,  and  from  this  he  drifted  into  the  retail  and 
wholesale  grocer}^  business,  but  of  late  years  made  fruits  his 
specialty,  dealing  largely  in  them,  and  buying  directly  from  the 
points  where  they  are  raised,  eastern  California  and  other  places. 
He  was  the  original  fruit  dealer  in  this  city,  and  up  to  the  day  of 
his  death  he  was  by  far  the  heaviest  merchant  in  this  line.  Mr. 
Presley  was  a  member  of  the  Common  Council  three  continuous 
years,  and  Chief  Engineer  of  our  fire  department  for  three  years. 
He  purchased  the  first  steam  fire  engine  brought  to  St.  Paul. 
He  took  the  position  of  Chief  P^ngineer  at  a  time  when  the 
department  was  in  bad  odor,  and  left  it  in  an  elevated  and  effi- 
cient condition.  What  is  remarkable,  he  was  the  only  merchant 
in  St.  Paul,  or  in  the  State,  who  had  been  continuously 


He  was  a  living  illustration  of  a  fact,  that  a  legitimate  business 
closely  adhered  to  for  a  series  of  years,  will  prove  triumphant  in 
the  end.  In  person  Mr.  Presley  represented  the  German  type  of 
man,  with  heavy  features  and  a  slow  and  cautious  movement. 
He  spoke  a  little  broken  and  somewhat  thick,  owing  to  a  throat 
difficulty,  yet  expressed  himself  in  a  clear  and  terse  manner. 
He  was  never  idle  ;  never  had  been ;  always  attended  to  his 
own  business,  and  plodded  on  day  after  day  with  renewed  deter- 
mination to  add  something  more  to  his  financial  gains.  When 
Chief  of  the  fire  department,  who  does  not  remember  the  kindly 


acts  of  his  departed  wife,  who  in  the  coldest  of  weather,  when  the 
jaded  firemen  were  ahiiost  ready  to  give  out,  replenished  them 
with  hot  coffee,  not  once,  but  many  times  ?  of  her  presentation  of 
flags  to  the  gallant  boys  ?  of  her  constant  efforts  to  encourage 
and  sustain  them?  And  who  was  kinder  to  the  firemen  than 
Bart.  Presley?  Many  a  once  young  man  now  growing  gray, 
will  remember  these  kindly  acts — these  sweet  memories  of  a  by- 
gone day.  Mr.  Presley  erected  years  ago  various  tenement 
houses  on  Eighth  street,  and  among  the  number  was  one  known 
as  the  Club  House.  Only  a  few  years  since  he  built  an  elegant 
business  block  on  the  site  of  his  old  stand,  and  at  the  time  of  his. 
death  was  estimated  to  be  worth  ;$ 300,000.  Quiet,  unobtrusive, 
industrious,  solid,  yet  public-spirited  and  enterprising,  Mr.  Pres- 
ley was  satisfied  with  his  success,  but  he  did  not  live  long  enough 
to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  his  toil,  dying  in  St.  Paul  from  blood 
poisoning,  on  the  30th  of  June,  1884,  aged  62  years. 


Gov.  Ramsey  had  been  married  only  a  few  years  when  he 
was  commissioned  Governor  of  the  then  Territory  of  Minnesota. 
He  arrived  at  St.  Paul  on  the  27th  of  May,  1849,  and  declared 
the  Territory  organized  on  the  first  of  June  of  the  same  year.. 
In  conversation  with  him  he  gives  a  very  interesting  account  of 
his  landing  at  the  levee ;  of  the  crude  condition  of  the  then 
embryo  city  ;  the  isolated  and  inferior  character  of  the  houses  ;: 
of  the  dense  mass  of  trees,  the  running  brooks,  and  the  ra\ines- 
which  met  his  view,  and  the  sad  feeling  which  came  over  him 
as  he  strolled  all  alone  and  marked  what  was  to  be  the  cit>' 
of  his  future  life.  Then  all  the  bluff  between  Bench  street  and 
the  river,  from  near  the  foot  of  Jackson  street  to  the  upper  levee,, 
w^as  in  a  wild,  uncleared  condition,  the  only  building  between  the 
two  points  on  the  south  side  of  Bench  street,  being  a  log  hut 
under  the  bluff.  He  walked  along  Third  street,  and  when  in 
front  of  what  used  to  be  the  gas  company's  office,  below  Robert 
street,  he  saw  a  peculiar  building  with  a  projecting  portico,  evi- 
dently the  best  in  the  place,  and  he  inquired  of  a  bo}',  pointing 
to  the  house — "  What  building  is  that?  "  wlien  he  was  informed  it 
was  for  the  Governor,  the  first  intimation  he  had  of  his  new 
home.     It  was  made  of  boards  and  belonged  to  the  ''  Minnesota 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  10 o 

Outfit,"  having  been  renovated  by  the  company  to  receive  his 
gracious  person.  After  visiting  the  city  he  boarded  the  boat  and 
steamed  for  Mendota,  where  he  met  Gen.  Sibley,  who  gave  him 
a  warm  and  cordial  invitation  for  both  himself  and  his  wife  to 
make  his  house  their  home,  which  v/as  the  first  stone  dwelling 
built  in  the  Territory.  Mrs.  Ramsey,  not  knowing  anything 
about  the  condition  of  the  country,  desired  to  commence  house- 
keeping at  once  in  the  unique  place  on  Third  street  (which  she 
had  not  yet  seen,)  but  the  Governor,  in  his  off-hand  manner, 
thought  it  advisable  to  wait  a  short  time,  and  so  they  both 
accepted  Gen.  Sibley's  invitation  and  made  his  hospitable  resi- 
dence their  home  for  about  a  month,  when  they  removed  to  their 
new  quarters  in  this  city,  where  they  remained  until  the  Governor 
built  his  new  house,  which  formerly  stood  where  his  present 
residence  now  stands,  corner  of  Exchange  and  Walnut  streets, 
only  the  old  house  fronted  on  Walnut  street,  while  the  new  fronts 
on  Exchange.  This  visit  to  Gen.  Sibley  reconciled  Mrs.  Ramsey 
to  frontier  life  in  the  West. 

A    FEW    LOG    HOUSES. 

At  that  time,  says  the  Governor,  looking  down  Third  street 
from  Cedar,  one  could  see  but  a  few  small  log  houses,  no  regular, 
roads,  plenty  of  trees  and  underbrush,  running  streams,  strolling 
Indians,  and  but  few  human  white  beings,  and  these  partook  of  all 
the  characteristics  of  frontier  life.  Now,  in  1 885,  gazing  down 
the  same  street,  one  sees  solid,  massive  business  blocks,  with  a 
stream  of  life  pouring  in  and  out  of  them,  denoting  the  growth 
of  the  city  in  the  brief  period  of  thirty-six  years,  at  present 
numbering  over  120,000  people. 


I  find  that  the  year  1 849  was  remarkable  for  the  crystalliza- 
tion of  affairs  which  culminated  in  the  formation  of  society, 
for  in  this  year  I  date  a  nucleus  around  which  civilization  began 
to  cluster.  Back  of  this  was  crudeness,  Indians,  frontier  life,, 
semi-barbarism.  It  is  very  true  H.  H.  Sibley  had  been  elected 
delegate  to  Congress  the  year  before  (1848,)  and  a  sewing  and 
temperance  society  had  been  formed,  and  a  school-house  had  been 
built  on  the  bluff  on  Third  street  where  the  late  Dr.  Alley's  brick 


block  now  stands,  but  still  it  was  left  for  the  year  1 849  to  com- 
mence the  career  of  a  city  that  is  now  rapidly  mergin;^'  into 
immense  metropolitan  life.  This  year  (1849,)  the  Territory  was 
first  organized  and  the  first  printing  press  and  the  first  paper  were 
brought  into  existence.  The  foundation  for  the  first  brewery  was 
laid ;  the  first  Masonic  lodge  was  instituted  ;  the  first  brick  house 
was  built ;  the  first  Presbyterian  chapel  completed  and  church 
organized  ;  the  first  Legislature  met ;  the  first  bricks  were  made 
(except  those  in  hats  ;)  First  Baptist  Church  organized  ;  the  first 
celebration  of  the  Fourth  of  July ;  the  first  county  election  was 
held ;  the  first  stage  line  established ;  the  first  town  pump  erected, 
and  the  first  Democratic  convention  met  at  the  American  House ; 
and  hence  1849  "^^7  be  justly  considered  as  really  the  first  year 
in  which  St.  Paul  began  her  onward  march  to  reach  the  point 
where  she  now  is — the  Queen  City  of  the  New  Northwest.  Pop- 
ulation in  the  latter  part  of  1849,  800.  Population  in  1885, 
1 20,000 ! 


The  first  stone  building  in  the  city  is  that  still  standing  on 
the  corner  of  Sibley  street  and  the  levee,  formerly  occupied  by 
J.  W.  Simpson.  The  former  brick  building  at  the  corner  of  Fourth 
and  Washington  streets,  was  built  under  contract  and  paid  for  b\- 
Rev.  E.  D.  Neill.  It  was  the  first  brick  building  in  the  city  and 
the  first  finished  north  of  Prairie  du  Chien.  The  Methodist,  now 
the  Swedenborgian  Church,  on  Market  street,  was  the  second. 
Subsequently  H.  M.  Rice  erected  a  brick  dwelling  at  the  corner 
of  Third  and  Washington  streets,  now  the  site  of  the  Metropoli- 
tan hotel.  In  the  house  at  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Washington 
streets,  two  of  Mr.  Neill's  children  were  born,  and  some  of  the 
trees  recently  standing  in  the  yard  were  planted  by  him.  Dr. 
Steele  erected  a  brick  block  of  dwellings  adjoining  the  old  house 
and  occupying  all  the  yard,  and  then  the  old  house  was  torn 
down  November,  1885.  After  Mr.  Neill  sold  this  house  he 
built  the  brick  residence  now  the  oldest  standing  on  Summit 
avenue,  and  formerly  occupied  by  Mr.  Ramsey  Nininger.  The 
first  brick  building  on  the  bluff,  overlooking  the  river,  was  built 
by  Wm.  G.  Le  Due,  in  the  winter  of  1853,  and  was  occupied  as 
the  postoffice.     What  is  remarkable  is  the  fact,  that  the   Timcs^ 

OF  >'ST.  PAUL,  MIjVN.  107 

the  Minnesotiaii  and  the  Press  were  all  printed  in  this  building. 
It  is  now  known  as  the  Tivoli,  where  is  for  sale  not  brains  but 
lager  beer. 


The  first  Protestant  church  edifice  in  the  white  settlement  of 
Minnesota,  was  built  of  wood  by  Rev.  \\.  D.  Neill,  in  the  sum- 
mer of  1849  (antedating  the  brick  Methodist  church  to  which  I 
allude  above,)  on  a  lot  adjoining  his  residence,  and  in  the  spring 
of  1850  was  destroyed  by  fire.  The  Methodist,  on  Market  street, 
was  the  first  brick  church.  The  Catholics  built  the  very  first 
church,  of  logs,  in  1841. 


It  will  be  remembered  by  the  readers  of  this  work,  that  I 
spoke  of  a  small  log  cabin  that  used  to  stand  on  the  corner  of 
Third  and  Jackson  streets,  which,  in  the  course  of  time,  became 
the  habitation  of  Judge  Aaron  Goodrich,  Chief  Justice  of  the  Ter- 
ritory of  Minnesota.  Mr.  G.,  in  a  paper  he  read  before  the  His- 
torical Society,  thus  describes  the  room  in  which  the  meeting  of 
the  first  Territorial  officers  was  held,  as  well  as  the  room  in  which 
the  first  proclamation  of  the  Governor  was  written.     He  says : 

"The  room  was  small  but  well  lighted  by  a  casement  of  7x9  glass  and  sundry- 
openings  between  the  logs.  There  were  no  chairs  in  the  apartment — there  was  no 
space  for  a  chair ;  the  apartment  was  in  strict  architectural  keeping  with  the  win- 
dow— it  was  just  7x9.  Its  furniture  comprised  one  bed  (upon  which  the  Judge  slept 
at  night,)  one  stand  and  two  trunks.  Gov.  Ramsey  sat  upon  a  trunk  and  wrote  his 
proclamation  upon  the  stand  or  small  table  (these  are  still  in  the  possession  of  Mr. 
Goodrich,)  and  this  proclamation,  written  on  the  1st  day  of  June,  1849,  3^  years 
ago,  set  in  motion  the  Territorial  organization  which  had  been  created  by  Congress." 

Now  look  at  our  stately  Capitol,  with  its  imposing  dome,  and 
its  beautiful  architectural  effect,  and  its  busy  hive  of  State  officers  ! 
What  a  contrast  and  what  a  change  in  the  brief  space  of  thirty- 
six  years  ? 


The  first  Territorial  Legislature  met  in  the  old  Central  House 
which  used  to  stand  on  Bench  street,  overlooking  the  river,  in 
September  of  the  year  1 849,  and  at  the  session  of  this  Legislature 
the  village  was  organized  into  the  "  Town  of  St.  Paul." 


The  parlor  of  this  old  house,  now  gone,  was  used  for  the 
Council  and  the  dining-room  for  the  House,  and  about  the  hour 
of  noon  a  waiter  would  thrust  his  head  in  among  the  solons  and 
sing  out — "  Dinner!  "  and  then  there  was  a  sudden  adjournment 
and  a  general  buzz.  The  Territorial  officers  also  had  quarters 


On  the  first  of  June,  1849,  James  Hughes  issued  a  new  pa- 
per called  the  JSImutSota  Chronicle,  which  was  consolidated  with 
the  Register,  the  first  number  of  which  was  published  in  Cincin- 
nati, and  both  these  papers,  in  their  consolidated  form,  ceased  to 
exist  in  March,  1851.  Mr.  Hughes  was  a  large  man,  of  good 
ability  and  great  energy.  He  was  a  lawyer,  kept  a  hotel,  edited 
a  paper,  and  was  generally  useful.  He  subsequently  moved  to 
Hudson,  where  he  died  several  years  ago,  but  I  think  he  has  a 
son  in  business  in  this  city. 


The  first  Fourth  of  July  was  celebrated  in  a  grove  of  trees 
where  the  City  Hall  now  stands,  in  the  year  1 849,  Gov.  Ramsey 
presiding;  Sibley,  Rice,  Judge  Goodrich,  and  about  everybody 
else  in  the  Territory  were  present. 

Judge  Meeker,  of  St.  Anthony,  now  dead,  was  the  orator. 
The  Declaration  of  Independence  was  read  by  W.  D.  Phillips. 
Among  those  who  listened  intently  to  the  proceedings  was  Capt. 

Louis  Robert.     Louis  said — ''  I  wouldn't  give  a  d for  Meeker, 

but  that  other  fellow  made  an  eloquent  speech."  As  everybody 
admitted  that  his  criticism  was  just — at  least  so  far  as  the  Dec- 
laration of  Independence  was  concerned — all  had  to  concede  that 
Louis  knew  a  good  thing  when  he  heard  it,  even  if  he  were  not 
posted  in  the  educational  affairs  of  the  nation. 


My  labors  are  constantly  interrupted  by  some  old  settler, 
who,  grasping  me  b}-  the  hand,  draws  a  striking  contrast  to  the 
St.  Paul  at  the  end  of  1 849,  with  a  population  of  800,  and  the 
St.  Paul  of  1885  with  a  population  of  120,000.  The  wooden, 
creaking  carts  of  thirty-six  years  ago  have  given  way  to  palatial 
cars,  and  metropolitan  life  has  usurped  the  place  of  a  few  scat- 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  109 

tered  log  huts,  bad  whisky  and  Indians.  **  But  then,"  they  say, 
"  it  is  all  right.  It  is  a  law  constantly  in  operation,  and  if  we  fall 
under  it,  it  is  our  destiny  and  nobody's  fault." 


Up  to  1849,  or  thirty-six  years  ago,  the  only  ingress  to  Min- 
nesota or  egress  from  it,  was  by  the  river,  there  being  no  stage  or 
railway  lines,  in  fact  no  roads.     The  trip  to  Prairie  du  Chien  was 
made  by  Mr.  Rice  on  a  French  pony,  which  performed  the  jour- 
ney on  the  frozen  Mississippi  river.     When  Mr.  Rice  came  to 
Fort  Snelling  in  1 839,  or  forty-six  years  ago,  he  was  twenty  days 
on  a  steamboat  from  St.  Louis  to  Prairie  du  Chien,  and  some  ten 
days  more  from  that  point  to  this,  making  some  thirty  days  from 
St.  Louis  to  St.  Paul.     Now  the  trip  is  made  in  less  than  five 
days.     A  Frenchman,  who  knew  the  channel  of  the  Mississippi 
by  duck-hunting,  piloted  the  boat  to  the  fort,  and  on  the  way  the 
passengers  and  others  had  to  cut  their  own  wood  to  keep  up 
steam.     James  M.  Goodhue,  the  pioneer  editor,  illustrates  their 
plodding  way  by  a  race  he  claims  was  made  by  a  saw  mill   lo- 
cated on  the  bank  of  the    river,  and  the  little  steamer  Tiger. 
Goodhue  sarcastically  and  funnily  kept  the  two  together,  nip  and 
tuck,  for  several  miles,  when  he  solemnly  declared  the  saw  mill 
had  beaten  the  Tiger  and  won  the  race.     It  was  a  capital  take- 
off on  the  slow,  poking  movements  of  the  boats  in  those  early 


Dr.  David  Day  was  born  in  Virginia  in  1825  ;  removed  to  the 
lead  region  in  Wisconsin  in  1 846 ;  was  engaged  in  mining  for 
three  years ;  studied  medicine  for  some  time,  and  then  entered 
the  Medical  Department  of  the  University  of  Pennsylvania,  from 
which  he  graduated  in  1 849 ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  the  spring  of 
that  year;  practiced  his  profession  with  success,  when,  in  1 854, 
he  entered  the  drug  business,  in  which  he  continued  some 
time ;  was  appointed  first  Register  of  Deeds  of  Ramsey  County 
in  1849,  and  subsequently  elected  to  the  same  office  for  two  years 
more ;  was  a  member  of  the  Legislature  from  Benton  County  in 
1852  and  1853,  and  in  the  latter  year  was  elected  Speaker;  re- 
tired from  the  drug  business  in  1866;  appointed  physician  to 


the  Winnebago  Indians;  was  State  Prison  Inspector  in  1871  ; 
in  1874  was  a  seed-wheat  commissioner  and  Commissioner  of  the 
State  Fisheries;  and  on  June  i,  1875,  was  appointed  Postmaster 
of  St.  Paul,  and  has  recently  been  re-appointed,  and  still  holds 
that  office  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  public.  He  has  made  an  ex- 
cellent postmaster.  He  drew  the  plan  of  the  first  Court  House, 
for  which  he  received  ten  dollars.  He  is  now  one  of  the  com- 
missioners of  the  new  Court  House  Board,  and  no  man  has 
worked  harder,  or  more  unceasingly,  or  more  devotedly,  or  more 
honestly  for  the  erection  of  a  magnificent  Court  House,  than  has 
Dr.  Day.  It  is  a  somewhat  singular  coincidence  that  over  thirty 
years  ago  the  doctor  originated  and  made  the  plans  for  the  old 
Court  House  building,  while  now  he  is  one  of  the  most  earnest 
commissioners  of  the  new,  and  it  is  certainly  most  gratifying  to 
him  to  know  that  his  long  and  well  matured  plans  will  soon  be 
fully  realized.  Indeed,  on  the  14th  of  October,  1885,  the  corner- 
stone of  the  new  Court  House  was  laid  with  Masonic  ceremonies, 
and  among  the  speakers  was  Dr.  Day,  who  gave  an  interesting 
history  of  the  old  Court  House  and  the  progress  of  the  new — 
a  ^XX^mg  fi?iale  to  his  long  labors  in  this  laudable  enterprise. 


Dr.  Day  put  the  first  deed  on  record  in  Ramsey  County,  in 
his  own  hand-writing,  and  it  can  be  found  thus  recorded,  and 
indeed  the  whole  book  is  in  the  doctor's  hand-writing. 

The  best  monument  to  the  memory  of  any  man  in  Oakland 
Cemetery,  is  the  beautiful  Mortuary  Chapel,  built  of  Minnesota 
stone  and  on  an  entirely  original  plan,  different  from  anything  in 
existence,  conceived  and  carried  out  by  Dr.  Day.  Indeed,  I  may 
say  that  this  has  been  Dr.  Day's  hobby  by  day  and  by  night,  and 
it  is  through  his  persistent  and  earnest  efforts  that  the  Chapel  has 
an  existence,  and  there  it  stands,  and  there  it  will  stand  for  ages 
as  a  grand  monument  to  his  memory — artistic,  useful,  beautiful, 


Dr.  Day  is  a  man  peculiar  to  himself;  different  from  other 
men  in  this  particular — he  is  quiet,  moderate,  decisive,  metaphys- 
ical, thorough.  He  has  excellent  business  and  administrative 
qualities,  and  is,  financially,  in  a  comfortable  position.     He  is 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  Ill 

complete  master  of  his  own  affairs,  and  as  postmaster  has  few, 
if  any  equals.  Physically  he  is  well  developed,  although  one 
lung  has  been  greatly  affected,  if  not  entirely  gone.  He  stoops 
a  little,  talks  slowly,  evidently  weighs  his  words,  and  as  the  mind 
evolves  thoughts,  twirls  his  mustache.  His  mind  is  of  the  meta- 
physical character.  He  loves  research  ;  is  a  scholar  ;  sees  things 
from  a  material  point  of  view ;  takes  nothing  on  faith ;  is  metho- 
dical and  self-reliant ;  withal  he  is  laudably  ambitious.  He  owns 
the  first  iron-front  building  in  the  city,  now  known  as  the  St. 
James  hotel,  corner  of  Third  and  Cedar  streets,  and  has  a  fine 
residence  on  Dayton  avenue.  He  is  a  good  Indian  scholar,  and 
at  one  time  collected  a  vast  number  of  their  lecrends  with  a  view 
to  publication,  but  has  abandoned  the  idea.  He  has  a  uniform 
temper,  yet  is  very  firm ;  speculates  a  good  deal  in  the  realm 
of  "  social  science,"  yet  is  well  posted  in  the  manipulation  of  the 
"  almighty  dollar."  He  is  a  quiet,  pleasant,  undemonstrative,  good 


In  April,  1849, there  were  thirty  houses  in  St.  Paul;  in  June, 
1849,  142.     Seymour,  in  his  little  work,  says: 

"These  buildings  included  three  hotels,  a  State  House,  four  warehouses,  ten 
stores,  several  groceries,  two  printing  offices,  etc.  Thex-e  were  twelve  attorneys  and 
five  physicians,  and  not  a  brick  or  stone  building  in  the  place." 

Of  course  these  were  erected  later.  Twenty  buildings  were 
made  habitable  in  three  weeks.  Population  in  January,  1849, 
840.  Thirty  buildings  in  January,  1849;  over  200  in  December, 
1849.  So  the  town  was  pushing  ahead.  One  thousand  inhabi- 
tants in  the  Territory  at  the  commencement  of  1849,  4,780  in 
December  of  the  same  year. 


The  first  brick  yard  was  opened  and  worked  by  D,  F.  Braw- 
ley,  who  recently  died  at  St.  Vincent,  and  who  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  April,  1849.  The  yard  was  near  where  D.  W.  IngersoU's  res- 
idence now  stands.  He  made  300,000  brick  in  1 849,  and  most 
of  them  went  into  the  residence  of  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill  and  the 
Methodist  Church  on  Market  street.  Mr.  Brawley  says  that 
"  this  is  the  best  laid  up  brick  building  in  this  city,  and  if  not 
taken  down,  will  stand  for  years."     Contractors  better  look  at  it. 

112  PEN  FICTl'IiES 

I  do  not  know  what  other  special  business  Mr.  Brawley  was 
engaged  in  during  his  residence  here,  except  as  I  remember  his 
running  a  ferry  boat  and  was  once  a  member  of  the  Legislature. 
He  was  a  good  deal  of  a  politician  and  very  decided  in  his  con- 
victions. As  a  man  he  was  generous,  kind-hearted,  social ; 
physically,  strong  and  energetic.  He  was  about  sixty  years  old 
when  he  died.  In  his  humble  sphere  he  did  a  good  deal  towards 
laying  the  foundation  of  our  present  growth  and  greatness,  and 
deserves  more  than  this  brief  mention.  He  has  three  children  in 
the  city,  one  married  daughter,  one  single,  and  one  son. 


One  of  the  most  conspicuous  land-marks  of  the  city  in  the 
past,  was  the  old  American  House,  a  long,  white  wooden  build- 
ing with  a  portico  running  the  whole  length  of  it,  which  stood 
on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Exchange  streets,  where  the  brick 
building  formerly  used  for  street  cars  now  stands.  This  house 
was  opened  by  Rodney  Parker  in  1849,  ^^'^^  ^"^^  run  by  Airs. 
Rodney  Parker  for  several  years.  Here  the  stages  left  for  St. 
Anthony ;  here  politicians  met  and  discussed  questions  of  great 
public  moment ;  here  balls  and  dinner  parties  were  given  ;  here 
strangers  and  citizens  gathered  for  social  intercourse ;  here  bar- 
gains in  real  estate  were  made  ;  here  men  of  means  from  the 
East  were  inveigled  into  various  schemes  of  speculation  in  which 
they  usually  lost  their  money,  and  here  ran  rampant  **  a  feast  of 
reason  and  a  flow  of  soul."  Mr.  Parker  was  succeeded  by  the 
Long  Brothers,  one  of  whom  is  dead. 


Of  the  original  landlord,  Parker,  I  can  only  say  he  was  born 
in  New  Hampshire  somewhere  in  the  year  1814;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1 849 ;  kept  the  American  House — (or  rather  his  wife 
did) — secured  a  claim  of  160  acres  of  land  near  Hamline  Univer- 
sity, costing  him  ^10  per  acre,  or  rather  $2,000,  worth  now  $160,- 
000 ;  farmed  some,  and  died  about  1 874,  close  to  sixty  years. 
He  was  a  tall,  spare  man,  quite  moderate  in  his  movements 
owing  to  ill-health,  yet  a  quiet,  unobtrusive  citizen. 

Mrs.  Parker  was  a  large,  masculine  looking  woman,  of  fine 
business  qualities ;  stirring  and  energetic  ;  a  lover  of  money,  and 
through   her  industry  and  economy  amassed  quite  a  property. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN,  1  73 

She  was  a  woman  of  strong  prejudices,  and  not  having  any  chil- 
dren, adopted  several,  to  one  of  whom  she  gave  the  bulk  of  her 
wealth.     She  died,  I  think,  in  1883. 


Messrs.  Willoughby  &  Powers  came  to  St.  Paul  together  in 
the  year   1849,  and  erected  a  barn  on  the  side  of  a  ravine  near 

Fourth  street,  where  they  opened  the  first  livery  stable  and  ran 
the  first  one-horse  stage  to  St.  Anthony.  Their  business  so 
increased  that  they  soon  put  on  the  route  a  four-horse  Concord 
coach,  and  then  came  in  the  opposition  lines,  and  stages  were  as 
plenty  as  blackberries. 

Mr.  Willoughby  was  born  in  Vermont  in  18 12  or  '14; 
mined  and  drove  stages  in  Galena  in  1848  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1849  and  opened  a  livery  stable,  as  has  already  been  noted.  He 
acquired  considerable  property,  and  when  he  died,  which  was 
only  a  few  years  ago,  he  left  an  estate  worth  $100,000. 

Willoughby  was  a  man  of  immense  humor;  was  well 
known  as  ''Bishop  Willoughby,  of  the  ^olian  Church;"  was 
prompt,  pleasant,  accommodating,  and  very  companionable.  He 
was  taken  sick  and  died  suddenly,  greatly  regretted  by  a  large 
number  of  old  friends. 

Powers  was  a  man  quite  eccentric;  born  in  181 8;  died  in 
1868.  He  was  not  so  fortunate  as  his  partner  in  amassing 
wealth,  yet  he  was  a  good  business  man,  and  was  much 
esteemed  by  those  who  knew  him. 


Mr.  Smith  was  born  in  Ohio  in  1799;  educated  at  Oxford, 
Ohio  ;  was  a  lawyer ;  appointed  Secretary  of  the  Territory  of 
Minnesota  by  President  Plllmore,  in  1849;  came  to  St.  Paul  the 
same  year ;  was  Secretary  of  the  Historical  Society ;  was  active 
in  establishing  common  schools  in  the  city,  and  was  a  man  of 
decisive  character.  He  was  the  target  for  politicians  to  shoot 
at,  but  he  survived  all  their  shafts;  resigned  his  office  in  185 1, 
and  died  in  1866.     I  did  not  know  him. 


Not   the   great  millionaire  of  Milwaukee,  but   the    former 
Marshal  of  Minnesota,  was  born  in  North  Carolina;  graduated 


at  West  Point ;  served  in  the  Florida  war ;  also  in  the  engineer- 
ing department ;  studied  law  at  Yale  College ;  settled  in  Cincin- 
nati ;  enlisted  in  the  Mexican  war ;  was  commissioned  Colonel  ; 
was  severely  wounded ;  presented  with  a  sword ;  was  appointed 
Marshal  of  Minnesota;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849;  in  1850  was 
nominated  for  Congress  and  beaten ;  removed  to  Missouri, 
where  he  died  in  1861,  aged  52  years.  Col.  Mitchell  was  a 
brave  man,  a  pleasant  gentleman,  but  his  own  enemy. 


Secretary  Smith,  who  had  taken  great  interest  in  our  school 
system,  at  a  meeting  called  to  consider  the  question  in  1849,. 
mo\ed  that  a  committee  be  appointed  to  ask  the  County  Com- 
missioners to  divide  the  town  into  school  districts,  which  w^as 
done,  and  three  school  houses  were  recommended  to  be  opened 
— one  on  a  lot  donated  by  Mr.  Randall,  one  in  the  basement  of 
the  Methodist  Church,  and  one  in  Mr.  Neill's  lecture  room- 
Miss  Bishop,  Miss  Schofield  and  Rev.  C.  Hobart  were  designated 
teachers,  and  from  this  small  beginning  has  grown  our  magnifi- 
cent school  system,  with  some  twenty  elegant  school  houses,, 
hundreds  of  teachers  and  thousands  of  scholars.  "  Tall  oaks 
from  little  acorns  grow." 


Just  think  of  it,  reader!  In  1849  the  Sioux  Indians  owned 
all  the  land  on  the  west  side  of  the  river,  where  the  Sixth  ward 
now  is,  and  the  w^hites  onl}-  owned  a  strip  on  the  cast  side,  so 
that  barbarism  had  full  sway  across  the  Mississippi,  wdiile  ci\ili- 
zation  was  struggling  for  a  foothold  on  the  east  side.  One  shrill 
war-whoop  and  every  soul  could  have  been  murdered,  but  dis- 
cretion and  fairness  with  the  Indians  marked  the  old  pioneers, 
and  soon  the  silent  influences  of  a  better  life  began  to  push 
along  the  tepees,  and  with  them  their  inmates,  until  now  I  find 
the  dominant  white  race  occupying  almost  ever)^  foot  of  soil  in 
the  State  of  Minnesota,  and  the  process  is  still  steadil\'  going  on 
— pushing  !  pushing  !  pushing  ! 


The  events  of  1849  ^I'owd  upon  me  rapidly,  for  some  of  the 
men  most  prominent  in  our  past  history  came  to  St.  1\\ul  during 
this  year,  and  some  of  the  most  stirring  events  transpired. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  lir, 

Cajjt.  E.  Y.  Shelly,  probably  the  oldest  printer  now  working 
at  his  trade  in  the  State  of  Minnesota,  was  the  foreman  in  the 
office  of  the  Clironicle  arid  Register,  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1849.  Mr.  Shelly  has  stuck  to  the  "case"  for  thirty-five  years. 
He  has  "locked"  himself  up  in  his  profession,  and  has  nearly 
run  off  an  *'  edition  "  of  a  purely  printer's  life.  He  is  the  "  type  " 
of  an  unrelenting  "  compositor."  Has  turned  the  "  period  "  when 
he  could  not  very  conveniently  engage  in  any  other  business,  and 
as  the  oldest  printer  he  has  no  "  parallel  "  in  the  State.  Pie  has 
set  up  many  a  "  paragraph,"  "  revised  his  proof,"  and  is  nearh' 
ready  "to  go  to  press."  Mr.  Shelly  is  a  quiet,  industrious  gentle- 
man, quite  retiring  in  his  disposition,  yet  social  in  his  nature. 
He  plods  on  in  the  even  tenor  of  his  way  and  has,  I  think,  passed 
the  mile-stone  of  fifty-five  years.  He  enlisted  in  the  Third  U. 
S.  Dragoons  and  served  in  the  war  with  Mexico  under  Gen.  Zac. 
Taylor;  entered  the  Union  service  in  1861,  as  First  Lieutenant  in 
Brackett's  Independent  Company  of  Cav^alry,  and  with  two  other 
Minnesota  companies  were  attached  to  the  Fifth  Iowa  Cavalry, 
which  was  organized  at  Benton  Barracks,  Mo.,  Capt.  Brackett 
being  appointed  as  one  of  the  Majors  of  said  regiment.  Capt. 
Shelly  succeeded  him  ;  served  in  the  army  of  the  Cumberland ; 
was  detached  from  the  regiment  in  the  spring  of  1864,  and 
ordered  to  report  at  Fort  Snelling,  where  Brackett's  Minnesota 
Battallion  was  organized ;  marched  to  Sioux  City  and  joined 
Gen.  Alf  Sully's  Northwestern  Indian  Expedition  against  the 
hostile  Sioux ;  served  through  the  campaign,  mustered  out  in 
spring  of  1865. 


Major  McLean  was  born  in  New  Jersey  in  1787;  was  a 
brother  of  Judge  McLean  of  the  United  States  Supreme  Court ; 
learned  the  printer's  trade  at  Cincinnati;  in  1807  published  a 
paper  at  Lebanon ;  was  a  member  of  the  Ohio  Legislature  in 
1 8 10  for  three  sessions  ;  an  officer  in  the  war  of  1812  ;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1849  at  the  age  of  sixty  years,  to  engage  in  the  news- 
paper business;  in  November,  1849,  was  appointed  Sioux  agent 
at  Fort  Snelling ;  held  the  office  four  years;  elected  Commis- 
sioner of  Ramsey  County  in  the  year  1855,  and  died  of  a  cancer 


in  1 87 1,  aged  84  years.  McLean  township  was  named  after 
him.  He  was  a  tall,  slender  gentleman,  a  little  lame,  a  rapid 
talker,  a  truthful,  honest,  good  man. 

JOHN    p.  OWENS. 

Was  born  in  Ohio  in  181 8,  of  Welsh  descent;  worked  on  a 
farm  in  early  life  ;  attended  college  at  Cincinnati  for  several  years, 
and  then  learned  the  printing  business  ;  became  a  partner  with 
Maj.  McLean  in  the  publication  of  the  Chronicle  and  Register ; 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849  ;  was  editor  of  the  Mimtesotian,  a  whig 
organ,  for  seven  years ;  was  appointed  Quartermaster  of  the 
Ninth  Minnesota  Regiment  in  1862  ;  mustered  out  in  1865  5  ^i"^- 
veted  Colonel ;  appointed  Register  of  the  land  office  at  Taylors 
Falls  in  1869,  an  office  he  held  at  the  time  of  his  death,  which 
occured  September  11,  i8>^4. 


All  the  early  settlers  could  easily  recognize  J.  P.  Owens  in 
a  crowd  of  men,  for  he  was  a  man  deeply  interested  in  politics 
and  made  this  a  specialty.  He  was  an  aggressive  writer ;  a 
strong  partisan ;  and  whenever  a  primary  meeting  was  held  he 
was  always  there.  He  gravitated  as  naturally  into  politics  as  a 
duck  does  into  water.  He  was  among  the  first,  indeed  I  ma}' 
say,  he  was  the  very  first  Whig  editor  in  the  State,  and  even  after 
the  Whig  party  had  been  dead  and  buried,  Owens  held  on  to  the 
corpse,  but  early  drifted  into  the  Republican  ranks,  and  after  Fre- 
mont was  nominated  for  President,  did  good  service  for  the 
party.  The  writer  had  occasion  to  measure  editorial  lances  with 
Mr.  Owens  a  great  many  times,  but  politically  we  agreed.  He 
was  a  political  tactitian,  and  used  his  power  to  good  advantage 
when  he  could. 


As  an  illustration  of  his  peculiar  methods  to  circumvent  a 
political  opponent,  (as  in  one  sense  at  that  time  I  was,)  at  a  party 
given  in  honor  of  the  Legislature  at  Mr.  Raugh's  ice-cream  saloon 
on  Third  street,  my  empty  glass  standing  at  my  plate,  was  filled 
with  champagne  three  times,  and  was  found  empty  three  times. 
As  I  represented  the  temperance  element  in  the  Legislature  at 
this  time,  it  was  charged  upon  me  as  having  drank  the  liquor, 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  117 

when  the  fact  was  I  never  touched  it,  but  some  of  my  political 
enemies  did,  and  thus  by  this  little  trick  it  was  intended  to  injure 
my  influence  with  that  portion  of  the  Legislature  which  did  not 
approve  of  spirituous  liquors,  but  it  failed. 

Owens  gloated  over  the  act,  and  if  I  remember  correctly, 
charged  me  in  his  paper  the  next  morning  with  disposing  of  the 
sparkling  wine.  I  don't  say  that  he  drank  the  champagne  which 
rightfully  belonged  to  me,  but  I  do  say  he  was  a  party  to  the 


Those  were  days  of  personal  epithets  instead  of  arguments, 
and  as  the  Times,  which  was  edited  by  the  writer,  and  the  Min- 
nesotian,  edited  by  Owens,  were  rivals,  of  course  some  very  hot 
words  were  used,  and  the  public  had  come  to  believe  that  we 
were  personal  and  deadly  enemies.  Meeting  in  an  ice-cream 
saloon  one  evening,  I  took  a  seat  at  the  same  table  with  Mr.  Owens, 
and  was  quietly  disposing  of  my  cooling  "  beverage,"  when  a 
mutual  friend  popped  in  upon  us  and  exclaimed : 

"  Why,  my  God !  what  are  you  doing  here  ?  " 

"  Only  cooling  off,"  I  replied. 

**  The  d 1  you  are ;  why,  I  supposed  you  never  spoke  to 

each  other,  and  would  smash  each  other's  faces  the  moment  you 
met,  and  yet  here  you  are  munching  ice-cream  together." 

Mr.  Owens  was  a  man  about  sixty-six  years  old.  He  was 
tall  and  slender ;  stooped  a  little  and  walked  a  little  lame.  He 
looked  like  a  battle-scarred  veteran,  who  having  fought  many  a 
good  fight,  as  he  had,  now  rested  upon  his  laurels.  Some  years 
ago  he  wrote  a  "  Political  History  of  Minnesota,"  but  for  some 
reason  the  manuscript  was  never  published.  He  was  quietly  en- 
joying the  repose  of  rural  life  on  the  St.  Croix,  when  he  died  in 


Mr.  Kellogg  was  born  in  New  York  State  in  1822;  enlisted 
in  the  army  in  1845  j  went  to  Mexico  in  1847  J  was  in  the  war  one 
year,  or  until  1848  ;  removed  to  Jefferson  barracks  that  winter,  and 
in  the  spring  of  1849  came  to  Fort  Snelling,  and  from  thence  the 
same  year  moved  to  St,  Paul,  where  he  has  resided  ever  since,  or 
thirty-six  years.  He  was  in  the  Sixth  Regiment  Band  as  a  clarionet 


player;  was  in  the  army  five  years,  and  discharged  in  1850;  en- 
gaged in  the  drug  business  with  Mr.  Hickox  in  1850,  and  the  firm 
built  a  brick  store  corner  of  Cedar  and  Third  streets.  The  seventy- 
eight-foot  lot  upon  which  this  store  stood,  cost  :$500;  now  worth 
about  ^40,000. 

In  1853  he  entered  into  partnership  with  J,  W.  Bond  ;  ran 
the  business  up  to  1857,  when  he  sold  to  Bond,  and  in  1858 
bought  out  the  stock  of  toys  and  notions  owned  by  B.  Presley. 
He  continued  that  business  until  1882,  when  he  was  obliged  to 
relinquish  it  in  consequence  of  the  failure  of  his  eye-sight.  He 
purchased  a  lot  in  Rice  &  Irvine's  Addition  on  Sixth  street,  in 
1854,  for  $150;  sold  the  same  in  1883  for  about  $8,000.  This 
property  was  sold  again  in  less  than  a  year  after,  for  $12,000, 
^16,500,  and  $20,000.     Mr.  Kellogg  was  married  in  1855. 


Mr.  Kellogg  is  a  rather  small  gentleman,  of  an  active,  nerv- 
ous temperament,  and  has  been  a  very  industrious  citizen. 
Although  burned  out  twice,  losing  nearly  all  he  had,  yet  he 
plunged  in  again  and  soon  obtained  his  footing.  He  has  toiled 
almost  uninterruptedly  for  thirty  odd  years,  and  very  few  men 
have  been  more  assiduous  to  business  than  he.  He  has  an  active 
brain,  moves  with  celerity,  arrives  at  conclusions  quickly,  and 
nobody  can  say  that  he  ever  cheated  him  out  of  a  cent ;  is  a  very 
temperate  man,  never  drinks,  chews  or  smokes.  He  is  also 
frugal,  economical  and  strictly  honest ;  has  always  minded  his 
own  business,  and  in  many  respects  has  been,  and  is  now,  a 
model  man.  About  two  years  ago  his  eye-sight  began  to  fail  him, 
and  now  he  is  almost  entirely  blind,  yet  with  this  terrible  afflic- 
tion upon  him  he  is  philosophical,  cheerful,  hopeful,  manly.  All 
the  old  settlers  1  know  have,  and  I  trust  many  new  ones  will 
have,  a  kindly  feeling  for  M.  N.  Kellogg. 


Charles  R.  Conwa)'  hung  out  his  shingle  as  a  real  estate 
dealer,  in  a  little,  small  white  office  which  stood  on  a  hill  where 
Mr.  Schurmeier's  building  now  stands,  on  Third  street,  between 
Cedar  and  Minnesota,  in  the  year  1849.  ^^  claims  to  be  the 
first  real  estate  dealer  in  the  city.  \ 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINX.  119 

The  hundreds  of  market-women  who  now  vend  vegetables 
-at  our  market  and  elsewhere,  will  be  glad  to  learn  that  Mrs. 
Kessler  was  the  first  market-woman,  who  came  from  Little  Can- 
-ada,  twelve  miles  from  St.  Paul,  with  a  single  ox  hitched  to  a 
■cart,  and  who  sold  her  potatoes,  cabbages,  pumpkins  and  other 
vegetables  in  as  approved  style  as  do  our  market-women  of  to- 
'day.  This  branch  of  business  has  grown  to  an  enormous  extent, 
and  it  is  quite  proper  that  the  pioneer  of  this  trade  should  have 
.a  place  among  the  Pen  Pictures  of  to-day. 


From  all  I  can  learn  the  first  burial  ground  was  that  owned 
by  the  Catholics  and  occupied  quite  a  space  back  of  the  Stees' 
furniture  store,  on  Minnesota  street.  A  small  log  stable  stood 
where  the  Pioneer  Press  office  now  stands,  and  directly  in  the 
rear  of  this,  on  the  bluff,  was  the  first  chapel,  erected  by  Father 
Galtier.  The  burying  ground  belonged  to  the  chapel,  and  is  the 
same  piece  of  property  upon  which  Stees'  building,  after  being 
erected  twice,  fell  both  times. 


Thirty-six  years  !  Reader,  stop  thinking  of  business  for  a 
minute  and  ponder  over  the  march  of  events  !  What  will  be  the 
future  of  the  country  west  of  St.  Paul  in  the  next  thirty-six 
years  ?  What  will  be  the  status  of  this  city  ?  I  will  anticipate 
your  reply  by  prophesying,  that  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis  will 
then  be  united  as  one  city,  with  a  population  of  1,000,000 
people,  and  these  cities,  thus  united,  will  supply  an  empire 
beyond  of  5,000,000  inhabitants.  **  Oh,  but,"  you  say,  "this 
•can  never  be  done."  Not  so  fast,  my  friend!  Look  at  the  past! 
St.  Anthony  has  been  swallowed  up  on  the  one  side  and  Wes." 
St.  Paul  on  the  other,  and  street  cars  and  motor  cars  and  rail- 
road cars  and  other  appliances  are  now  at  work  drawing  to- 
gether slowly  but  surely  these  two  cities,  and  when  they  come 
together,  as  they  certainly  will,  it  will  be  like  the  snapping  jaws 
•of  the  mud-turtle — 

all  at  once. 

Then  the  new  Capitol  building,  costing  several  millions  of 
-dollars,  will  be  located  on  100  acres  of  land  midway  of  the  one 


great  city,  and  grand  hotels  will  invite  the  world  at  large  to- 
partake  of  food  unparalleled  in  sweetness  and  delicacy,  and 
luxurious  beds  will  beckon  tired  bodies  to  sweet  repose.  The 
superficial  thinker  who  never  gets  above  his  nose,  may  and  no 
doubt  will  scoff  at  these  ideas,  but  he  can't  change  either  the 
immutable  laws  of  nature  or  the  immutable  laws  of  God ;  and 
just  as  sure  as  the  cars  rumble  to  the  Pacific  ocean,  just  so  sure 
will  St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis,  not  many  years  in  the  future,  be 
united  and  march  to  power  and  to  greatness  under  the  banner 
of  one  city. 


No  one  man  has  done  more  towards  the  growth  of  St.  Paul 
in  a  religious,  literary,  moral,  and  educational  point  of  view,  than 
Rev.  E.  D.  Neill.  No  one  man's  life  has  been  more  unceasingly^ 
devoted  to  the  public  interests,  than  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill.  No  one 
man  alone  has  done  so  much  towards  elevating  public  opinion, 
and  towards  laying  the  foundation  of  a  great  city  here,  as  Rev.. 
E.  D.  Neill.  History,  when  correctly  written,  will  give  him 
great  credit  for  his  zeal  and  his  devotion  to  the  public  good. 

WHEN    BORN,  AND    SOME    OF    HIS    LIFE    WORK. 

He  was  born  in  Philadelphia  in  1823  ;  educated  at  Amherst 
College,  Massachusetts,  and  at  the  University  of  Pennsylvania  ; 
graduated  in  1842  ;  ordained  a  Presbyterian  clergyman  in  1848; 
went  to  Galena  to  perform  missionary  work  in  1 847  ;  came  to- 
St.  Paul  in  April,  1 849 ;  wrote  one  of  the  editorial  paragraphs- 
in  the  first  issue  of  the  St.  Paul  Pioneer;  contracted  for  the  erec- 
tion of  the  first  brick  house  north  of  Prairie  du  Chien,  for  his 
dwelling,  now  torn  down,  and  planted  with  his  own  hands  some  of 
the  trees ;  erected  the  first  Protestant  church,  and,  as  the  Presbyte- 
rian manual  mentions,  organized  in  November,  1849,  ^^e  first 
Presbyterian  Church  in  Minnesota,  which  was  burned,  and  rebuilt 
on  the  corner  of  Third  and  St.  Peter  streets  ;  organized  the  House 
of  Hope  in  1855,  and  became  its  pastor  ;  was  Territorial  Super- 
intendent of  Instruction  in  1851,  and  held  the  office  for  two  }'ears. 
State  Superintendent  Burt,  in  his  report  to  the  Legislature  of 
1 88 1,  wrote: 

"The  Territorial  law  of  1851,  requiring  the  Governor  to  appoint  the  Superin- 
tendent of  Schools,  remained  until  i860  on  the  statutes.     In  that  year  it  was  enacted 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  121 

that  the  Chancellor  of  the  University,  an  officer  then  required  to  be  appointed  by 
the  Board  of  Regents,  should  be  ex-officio  Superintendent.  This  act  made  Rev.  K. 
D.  Neill  the  first  State  Superintendent  of  Public  Instruction.  In  his  first  State  re- 
port he  recommended  the  township  system  and  the  appointment  of  County  SupL'rin- 
tendents;  and  that  the  apportionment  of  school  funds  should  be  made  upon  the 
number  of  scholars  attending  the  district  schools.  Two  of  the  early  recommenda- 
tions have  been  realized  and  the  third  is  yet  to  come." 

He  organized  and  secured  the  erection  of  the  Baldwin  school 
in  1853  ;  in  1855,  through  his  efforts,  brought  into  existence  the 
College  of  St.  Paul,  now  Macalester  College ;  took  an  active 
part  in  the  Historical  Society  of  Minnesota — might  say  he  was  the 
father  of  this  institution — was  Secretary  from  185 1  to  1861  ;  was 
Secretary  of  the  Board  of  Education  ;  cx-officio  Superintendent 
of  Schools  for  several  years ;  Chancellor  of  the  State  University 
for  two  years;  State  Superintendent  of  Public  Instruction  three 
years;  in  1861  was  appointed  Chaplain  in  the  First  Regiment  of 
Minnesota  Volunteers,  and  was  on  the  field  in  the  battles  of  Bull 
Run,  Fairoaks  and  Malvern,  and  served  two  years ;  was  hospital 
chaplain  in  1864;  was  one  of  the  private  secretaries  of  Presidents 
Lincoln  and  Johnson  ;  in  1869  was  appointed  Consul  to  Dublin,  in 
which  capacity  he  continued  two  years.  He  went  abroad  for  the 
purpose  of  having  access  to  the  great  libraries  of  the  British  Mu- 
seum and  Dublin  University,  and  while  there  Strahan  &  Co.,  of 
London,  published  his  "English  Colonization  of  America."  He 
has  also  written  the  "  Virginia  Company  of  London,"  "  Threads 
of  Colonial  History,"  "  Founders  of  Maryland,"  and  the  Mus- 
sells,  the  old  Albany  publishers,  have  just  announced  another 
work  from  his  pen,  with  the  title  of  "  Virginia  Vetusta."  His 
works  have  been  used  and  commended  by  Gladstone  and  Ban- 
croft, and  are  works  of  reference  at  Harvard  and  John  S.  Hopkins 
University.  He  returned  to  St.  Paul  in  1871  and  became  Pres- 
ident of  the  Macalester  College,  but  resigned  his  position,  and  is 
now  a  professor  in  the  same  institution.  In  1871  he  withdrew 
from  the  Presbyterian  Church  and  entered  the  Reformed  PLpisco- 
pal  Church  ;  has  written  an  exceedingly  interesting  and  accurate 
history  of  Minnesota,  the  fifth  edition  published  in  1883  ;  per- 
formed the  first  marriage  in  Ramsey  County  after  its  organiza- 
tion ;  built  the  first  brick  dwelling  in  the  city ;  lived  for  some 
time  in  Minneapolis  until  the  Macalester  College  building  there 
became  a  medical  college  and  hospital,  when  he  returned  to  St. 


Paul,  where  he  now  resides,  superintending-  and  building  up 
Macalester  College,  located  midway  the  two  cities,  and  acting  as 
Presb}'ter  in  charge  of  Calvary  Reformed  Episcopal  Chapel  at 
the  corner  of  Grand  avenue  and  Milton,  a  new  enterprise  of  his 


Mr,  Neill  is  a  well-formed  gentleman  physically,  ordinarily 
tall,  with  light  complexion,  side-whiskers,  and  has  a  pleasant, 
courtly  bearing.     He  not  only  has  a  very  active  brain,  but  is  very 
active  in  his    movements.     He  walks  like  a  man    on    springs  J 
moves  directly  forward  to  the  object  which  he  wishes  to  attain, 
and  having  attained  his  object,  is  ready  to  take  up  another.     He 
is  a  remarkably  industrious  man,  always  either  writing  some- 
thing   or  doing    something  ahead  of  public  sentiment.     He    is 
constantly  in  advance  of  the  world,  and  hence  the  world  is  nearly 
out  of  breath  trying  to  keep  up  with  him,  and  yet  when  he  is  fully 
•  comprehended  he  is  a  great  deal  more  practical  than  the  public 
give  him  credit  for.      He  is  an  earnest  man,  an  indej^endent  man, 
a  self-reliant  man,  a  religious  man,  a  progressive  man,  an  honest 
man,  a  benevolent  man,  a  kind-hearted  man,  a  good  man  ;  a  man 
of  letters,  a  man  of  literature,  a  man  of  research,  a  man  ot  thought ; 
a  pioneer  ;  a  worker;  a  human  telegraph,  throwing  out  scintilla- 
tions of  light;  a  leader  in  civilization.     He  has  no  conce])tion  of 
the  value  of  money  as  personally  relates  to  himself  or  to  his 
family.     He  has  several  huge  trunks  full  of  good  deeds,  but  ver)' 
few  of  the  glittering,  golden  dollars.     He  is  extremely  sensitive 
as  to  points  of  honor,  of  true  manhood,  of  principle ;  and  so  he 
has  toiled  on  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  among  the  rough  ele- 
ments  of  life,  and  is  now  crowning  the  end  of  his  career  with 
building  up  an  institution  that  will  live  long  after  the  material 
man  has  been  dissolved  and  the  real  man  has  taken  his  proper 
place  among  the  beings  of  another  sphere. 


As  a  speaker  in  the  pulpit  or  on  the  rostrum,  Mr.  Neill  is 
earnest,  sincere,  clear,  progressive,  argumentative.  He  appears 
to  be  a  bundle  of  nerves,  and  when  he  talks  to  you  he  is  con- 
stantly moving  his  feet  just  as    rapidly  as  the  intensity  of  his 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MJXX.  12S 

thoughts  act  upon  the  nerve  centres,  and  yet  in  another  sense  he 
is  not  nervous,  but  earnest.  He  scorns  most  disdainfully  any- 
thing which  to  him  appears  mean.  He  is  thoroughl}'  independent. 
He  lives  within  himself.  In  person  he  is  straight,  manly,  with 
an  intellectual  look,  and  yet  one  would  take  him  to  be  a  foreign 
gentleman  of  leisure  just  arrived,  inspecting  our  institutions.  His 
first  church  was  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Washington  streets. 
His  second  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  St.  Peter,  part  of  which 
still  remains,  but  is  devoted  to  the  purposes  of  trade.  The  old 
House  of  Hope,  his  third  church,  on  Walnut  street,  has  been 
converted  into  dwelling  houses,  while  the  new  House  of  Hope  is 
on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  FLxchange  streets,  and  is  one  of  the 
finest  church  edifices  in  the  city.  Mr.  Neill  came  to  St.  Paul  a 
young  man,  being  about  twenty-six  years  of  age,  and  for  thirty- 
six  years  the  better  part  of  his  life  has  been  spent  in  doing  good 
and  elevating  the  masses.  He  has  just  passed  sixty  years,  but  is 
still  acti\e,  spirited,  even  youthful  in  his  ways.  He  has  written 
his  good  deeds  indelibly  upon  the  future  history  of  Minnesota, 
and  other  generations  will  come  to  greatly  esteem  the  name  of 
Rev.  Edward  Duffield  Neill. 


The  finest  specimen  of  a  physical  man  in  the  Northwest,  is 
Governor,  Senator,  Ex-Secretary  of  War,  Alexander  Ramsey. 
The  shrewdest,  sharpest,  best  politician  in  Minnesota  to-day,  is 
Alexander  Ramsey.  The  man  most  thoroughly  posted  in  human 
nature,  is  Alexander  Ramsey,  and  the  man  of  the  most  jovial, 
bluff,  off-hand,  friendly  characteristics,  is  Alexander  Ramsey. 
No  matter  whether  these  elements  of  character  are  affected  or 
genuine,  they  are,  as  a  matter  of  histor3%  parts  of  the  man,  and 
make  him,  what  he  really  is,  one  of  the  most  popular  of  the  old 
politicians  and  of  the  old  settlers. 


Mr.  Ramsey  was  born  in  Harrisburg,  Pennsylvania,  in  1815, 
of  Scotch  descent  on  his  father's  side  and  of  German  descent  on 
his  mother's.  He  was  left  an  orphan  at  the  age  of  ten  years ; 
was  employed  as  a  clerk  in  a  store  at  Harrisburg,  and  in  1828 
was  engaged  in  the  office  of  the  Register  of  Deeds   of  Dauphin 


County  ;  subsequently  worked  at  the  carpenter  trade,  but  drifted 
out  of  this  into  the  study  of  law,  and  after  leaving  the  Lafayette 
College  entered  several  law  offices  and  was  admitted  to  practice 
in  1839,  occupying  some  of  his  time,  howe\'er,  in  teaching  school ; 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849.  ^^-  Barnes,  in  his  history  of  the 
Fortieth  Congress,  says : 

"  During  the  celebrated  Harrison  campaign  of  1840,  Mr.  Ramsey  took  a  prom 
inent  part,  and  was  that  fall  chosen  Secretary  of  the  electoral  college  of  the  State  of 
Pennsylvania.  In  1S41  he  was  elected  Chief  Clerk  of  the  House  of  Representa- 
tives. In  1843  he  was  nominated  for  Congress  from  the  district  composed  of  Dau- 
phin, Lebanon  and  Schuylkill  Counties,  and  served  in  the  Twenty-Eighth  Congress 
(1843-4.)  He  was  re-elected  in  1844  a  member  of  the  Twenty-Ninth  Congress, 
his  term  ending  March  4th,  1844.  During  these  years  Mr.  Ramsey  became  well 
known,  not  only  in  his  own  State,  but  widely  among  public  men  of  the  country,  aii 
evincing  those  qualities  of  sagacity  and  firmness  which  have  l)een  so  marked  during 
his  whole  career.  As  chairman  of  the  Whig  State  Committee  in  1848,  he  contri- 
buted largely  to  the  election  of  Gen.  Zach.  Taylor  to  the  presidency.  When  that 
brave  old  soldier  was  inaugurated  it  became  his  duty  to  appoint  the  officers  of  Min 
nesota  Territory,  and  he  at  once  tendered  the  governorship  to  Mr.  Ramsey,  which 
was  accepted.  His  commission  is  dated  April  2d,  1849,  and  he  immediately  pro- 
ceeded to  remove  with  his  family,  to  his  new  home.  And  here  it  should  be 
remarked,  that  Gov.  Ramsey  was  married  in  1845  to  Miss  Anna  E.  Jenks,  of  New- 
town, Bucks  Co.,  Pennsylvania. 

"Gov.  Ramsey  arrived  at  the  scene  of  his  official  duties  on  May  27,  1S49, 
and  four  days  afterwards,  with  the  other  Territorial  officers  who  had  arrived,  issued 
a  proclamation  declaring  the  Territory  organized  and  the  machinery  of  law  in  oper- 
ation. When  the  first  Legislature  met  in  September  it  bestowed  on  one  of  the  first 
counties  created,  and  at  that  time  the  most  populous  and  wealthy,  the  name  of  Min- 
nesota's first  Governor,  a  deserved  and  just  compliment. 

"Gov.  Ramsey  took  early  measures  to  procure  the  extinguishment  of  Indian 
titles  by  treaty,  etc.;  and  by  negotiations  made  at  Mendota  and  Traverse  des  Sioux, 
in  185 1,  the  valuable  lands  near  Lake  Pepin,  and  40,000,000  acres  in  what  now  con- 
stitutes middle  and  southern  Minnesota,  and  about  twenty  counties  in  Iowa,  were 
thrown  open  to  settlers.  In  the  fall  of  185 1  he  made  a  treaty  with  the  northern 
Chippewas  for  the  cession  by  them  of  thirty  miles  on  each  side  of  the  Red  river, 
which  was  not  ratified.  In  1863  he  made  another  treaty,  and  the  whole  Red  river 
valley  was  opened  up  to  settlement. 

"In  1853  Gov.  Ramsey's  term  closed,  and  in  1855  he  was  elected  Mayor  oi 
St.  Paul.  In  1857,  when  the  Republican  convention  met,  he  was  nominated  for 
first  State  Governor,  but  was  unsuccessful  in  the  contest.  Two  years  later  he  was 
again  nominated  and  this  time  elected  by  a  majority  of  3,752  in  a  vote  of  38,918. 
At  this  time  the  State  was  considerably  in  debt,  taxes  difficult  to  collect,  and  many 
other  troubles  were  to  be  met,  but  his  administration  was  a  very  successful  one. 
The  following  year  the  rebellion  broke  out,  and  this  laid  new  duties  and  responsibil- 
ities on  the  Governor.  One  was  the  proper  officering  of  the  regiments  from  the 
State,  but  the  very  fact  that  a  large  proportion  of  Colonels  appointed  by  him  were 
ultimately  promoted  to  brigadiers  and  several  to  Major  Generals,  while  every  officer 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  ljr> 

with  the  exception  of  too  few  to  notice,  made  a  good  record,  is  proof  enough  thai 

the  selections  were  wisely  made  of  men  who  have  done  honor  to  our  State   on  the 


"  In  i86i  Gov.  Ramsey  was  re-elected.     During  his  second   term   the  Sioux 

outbreak  occurred,  adding  still  further  to  the  responsibilities  of  the  position,  but 
ultimately  peace  and  security  were  restored  to  the  frontier.  In  January,  1863,  (iov. 
Ramsey  was  elected  United  States  Senator  for  six  years,  and  re-elected  in  1869, 
serving  twelve  years  in  all.  During  this  period  he  was  on  several  important  stand- 
ing committees,  postoffice  and  post-roads,  of  which  for  years  he  was  chairman. 
Postal  reform  occupied  much  of  his  attention.  He  first  introduced  the  bill  for  the 
repeal  of  the  franking  abuse,  and  pressed  it  to  its  adoption,  and  visited  France  in 
1869  to  urge  cheap  international  postage,  which  has  since  been  accomplished." 

He  also  aided,  as  far  as  possible,  the  construction  of  the 
Northern  Pacific  Railroad.  He  was  especially  active  in  securing 
the  survey  and  improvement  of  the  Upper  Mississippi  river  and 
branches  by  the  general  government.  In  1880  was  appointed 
Secretary  of  War  by  President  Hayes,  and  for  a  short  time  was 
Secretary  of  the  Navy.  He  labored  earnestly  and  continually 
for  the  interests  of  the  great  Northwest,  and  his  services  to  this 
section  and  to  the  country  as  a  whole,  will  be  gratefully  remem- 
bered long  after  he  has  passed  away.  Some  of  the  extracts  from 
his  messages  predicting  the  future  growth  of  the  Territory,  seem 
almost  prophetic.  He  evinced  his  own  faith  in  its  future  suc- 
cess by  large  and  judicious  investments  in  real  estate,  which 
ultimately  have  become  of  great  value  and  are  the  bulk  of  a 
comfortable  fortune. 

Mr.  Ramsey  is  now  one  of  the  commissioners  appointed 
by  President  Arthur  to  inquire  into  the  affairs  of  Utah,  and  if 
possible  remodel  that  degenerated  Territory.  His  family  origin- 
ally consisted  of  three  children,  two  boys  and  a  girl;  the  boys 
died  in  infancy,  and  the  daughter  is  now  married. 

MR.  RAMSEY  AS    A    MAN. 

The  bold,  Scotch-German  face,  pleasant  smile,  white  hair, 
stalwart  form  and  open,  frank,  free  manners  of  Gov.  Ramsey, 
make  him  a  marked  character  on  the  street  or  in  society.  He 
has  great  command  over  his  feelings,  and  can  greet  an  enemy, 
especially  if  he  has  any  point  to  gain,  as  cordially  as  his  best 
friend ;  indeed,  in  such  a  case,  he  is  a  good  deal  more  cordial. 
This  arises  not  from  policy,  but  from  a  total  forgetfulness  of  any 
political  injury  done  him.  He  harbors  no  unkindness  towards 
any  one,  and  this  is  natural  to  the  man.     He  has  been  in  office 


almost  uninterruptcdh-  for  fort}'-four  years,  or  nearly  half  a  cen- 
tury, and  in  this  particular  surpasses  all  other  men  in  his  adapta- 
tion to  political  life.     One  of  the  great  and  strong  points  in  his 
character,   is    his  non-committalism,  especially    before    election. 
When    called    upon,    however,  to    declare    upon  great    state  or 
national  ([uestions,  he  never  shrinks  from  the  ordeal,  and  decides 
in  a  bluff,  off-hand  manner,  which  in  early  years  gave  him  the 
name  of  *'  Bluff  Aleck."     He  is  exceedingly  cordial  in  his  ways  ; 
makes    ever}'body    think    he  is  a  personal    friend ;     avoids  any 
remark  which  might  give  offense,  and  in  case  of  a  sudden  rumpus 
you  will  always  find  him  missing.     When  he   gets  into  trouble, 
however,  he  is  like  a  steamboat,  backs  out  gracefully.     He  is  a . 
man  of  strong,  solid,  common  sense ;  cool,  collected,  self-poised  : 
an  excellent  judge  of  human   nature,  and  always  looks  on  the 
sunny  side  of  life,  no  matter  how  dark  the  clouds  may  be  which 
are  hidden  from  human  view.     He  is  a  philosopher  and  believes 
what  is  to  be,  will  be.     He  is  liberal  in  his  religious  views,  if  he 
has  any,  and  while  temperate  in  his  habits  is  broad-guaged  in  his 
ideas  of  human  life.     Many  interesting  incidents  of  the   method 
Mr.  Ramsey  has  adopted  to  quietly  slip  through  the  world  with 
the  least  possible  friction,  might  be  given,  but  space  will  not  per- 
mit.   One  of  his  peculiar  traits  is  just  this:  while  a  dozen  small- 
fry  politicians  are  fighting  for  the  spoils,  Ramsey  is  in  the  corner 
enjoying    his   political    repast,  and  when    the    battle  is  over  he 
smacks  his  lips  and  coolly  remarks — **  Well,  I  can't  see  what  all 
this  fuss   is  about.     I've  had  my  dinner  ;  I'm  satisfied."     In  a 
word,  he  has  been  eating  the  meat  while  the  other  dogs  have 
been  fighting  for  the  bone.     He  has  had  a  busy  and   useful  life, 
and  very  justly  can  be  classed  as  pre-eminently  among  the  very 
first  men  of  the  Northwest.   Very  few  politicians  have  lived  whose 
political  life  is  as  pure  as  that  of  Alexander   Ramsey,  and  what- 
ever faults  he  may  have,  (as  all  men  have  faults,)  he  will  leave  a 
name  honored  and  esteemed  for  a  long  list  of  valuable  deeds 
done,  and  a  memory  made  especially  green  by  pleasant  recollec- 
tions of  a  genial,,  kindly  nature,   a  warm,  generous  manner,   a 
hearty  greeting,  an  esteemed  friend,  a  popular  citizen. 


T  don't  know  but  what  I  might  feel  as  mellow  and  as  well 
disposed  toward  the  human  race  as   (row  Ramsey  does,  if  I   had 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINX.  127 

been  in  office  for  over  forty  years  and  had  piled  up  in  the  bank 
to  my  credit,  a  large  amount  of  money  accumulated  from  sala- 
ries !  I  would  like  to  try  the  experiment.  These  little  things 
have  a  very  decided  and  pleasant  effect  upon  the  disposition,  and 
I  feel  sure  that  my  own  disposition  could  be  very  materially 
sweetened  and  modified  by  exchanging  places  with  my  esteemed 
friend — he  writing  Pen  Pictures  and  I  traveling  in  Utah — Gov. 
Newson — plain  Mr.  Ramsey.  Give  me  a  chance,  Senator,  and  I 
will  soon  demonstrate  my  capacity  to  live  and  to  die  a  mellow 
old  gentleman. 


Fun  is  fun,  but  facts  are  facts,  and  the  truth  is,  that  during 
the  time  Governor  Ramsey  held  a  State  office,  his  salary  never 
paid  him  for  the  amount  of  money  he  expended  in  entertaining 
the  Legislature — and  the  Governor  says  facetiously — "  In  the  old 
days  the  members  consumed  an  enormous  amount  of  food" — 
or  the  many  others  who  were  subjects  of  his  hospitality.  Then, 
as  Senator  in  Washington,  he  had  two  households  to  keep  up, 
and  courtesies  to  extend,  so  that  really  he  had  but  little  left  of 
his  salary  at  the  end  of  each  year.  He  made  some  real-estate 
investments  in  early  days,  and  these  investments  have  enabled 
him  to  live  comfortably. 


Governor  Ramsey  has  always  responded  liberally  to  every 
public  enterprise  which  affected  the  growth  of  the  city.  I  hav^e 
the  information  from  a  gentleman  who  knows,  that  while  the 
Governor  has  not  built  immense  stores,  yet  he  has  given  more 
liberally  than  any  man  in  the  State,  and  many  private  gifts  will 
never  be  known,  because  unostentatiously  the  act  of  a  good 


Some  years  ago,  succeeding  the  crash  of  1857,  when  ^he 
hard  times  were  upon  us,  and  property  was  still  taxed  upon  the 
inflated  assessments  of  r855-6.  Governor  Ramsey  was  asked  to 
recommend  in  his  message  a  bill  reducing  the  taxes  upon  prop- 
erty if  paid  for  in  a  certain  time.  This  bill  passed  the  Legisla- 
ture, and  many  availed  themselves  of  its  prov^isions,  and  among 
them  Governor  Ramsey  himself ;  and  this  is  all  the  reduction  of 


taxes  he  has  ever  had  in  Ramsey  County.  He  is  a  grand  man, 
and  is  growing  in  public  estimation  as  years  carry  him  to  the 
final  end. 


A  Judge  of  one  of  our  courts,  and  an  old  settler,  had  a  long 
beard,  and  in  course  of  time  the  hair  began  to  fall  from  his  head, 
at  which  he  was  greatly  annoyed,  when  a  theoretic  scientist  told 
him  that  if  he  would  gradually  pull  out  all  his  beard  it  would 
cause  the  hair  to  grow  back  again  on  his  head ;  and  after  he  had 
tested  the  matter,  as  he  really  believed  the  statement,  a  friend 
was  conversing  with  him  one  day  on  the  subject,  when  he  said — 
"  And  this  reminds  me  that  some  years  ago  an  old  fool,  or  phi- 
losopher, once  told  me  that  if  I  would  pull  out  all  my  beard, 
hair  would  grow  again  on  top  of  my  head ;  and  do  you  know  I 
was  just  green  enough  to  try  it!"  I  have  discovered  that  old 
settlers  are  sometimes  taken  in  as  w^ell  as  young  bloods,  though, 
generally,  young  bloods  know  more  than  their  fathers  every 


In  1849  ^  young  stripling  of  a  boy,  aged  twenty-two  years, 
engaged  his  services  to  Judge  Knowlton  to  aid  in  running  a  Ter- 
ritorial road  from  Hudson,  Wisconsin,  to  St.  Paul.  He  was  a 
bright  lad,  very  self-reliant,  and  during  the  trip  volunteered  to  do 
the  cooking.  One  day  a  bird  that  had  been  shot  was  brought 
in,  and  the  young  man  took  it  upon  himself  to  *'  dish  it  up."  He 
made  up  a  good  fire ;  put  on  the  pot,  picked  the  inviting  fowl, 
smacked  his  lips,  and  informed  his  friends  of  the  forthcoming 
elegant  repast  which  he  intended  to  spread  before  them.  Din- 
ner time  came,  but  the  bird  was  not  done,  and  an  indifferent 
meal  was  served  instead ;  and  so  at  supper,  and  so  at  breakfast, 
and  so  at  dinner,  the  bird  all  this  time  undergoing  a  vigorous 
boiling  process,  when,  after  a  lapse  of  two  days,  the  Judge  found 
out  that  his  knowing  young  cook  had  been  boiling  and  sweating 
and  fretting  over  a  wild  buzzard  instead  of  a  wild  turkey. 

H,  M.  RICE VARIOi:^    OFFICES    HE    HAS    HELD. 

Mr.  Rice  was  born  in  Vermont  in  18 16.  His  grandfather 
on  his  mother's  side  was  taken  prisoner  during  th*?  French  war 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  129 

•of  1775,  at  the  burning  of  Royalton,  Vt.,  but   afterwards    ran- 
somed.    Young  Rice  attended  a  common  scliool  and  an  acad- 
emy, and    studied   law   at    Richmond,  Vermont ;  emigrated   to 
Detroit,  Michigan,  in   1835;    in   1837  he  left  Michigan  for  the 
West,  and   with   his   pack   traveled   on  foot  over  two  hundred 
miles.     Then  there  were  only  a  few  white  settlers,  but  a  good 
many    Indians ;  the    country   was    almost    a    barren   wilderness 
where  are  now  cities,  and  towns,  and  villages.     Before  leaving 
Michigan  he  was  employed  in  the  survey  which  finally  termi- 
nated in  the  location  of  the  Sault  Ste.  Marie  canal  and  other 
important  works  under  the  direction  of  the  State  of  Michigan  ; 
•came  to  Fort  Snellin'g,  Minnesota,  in   1839,  and  was  connected 
with  the  sutler's  department  at  that  post ;  in  1 840  was  appointed 
sutler  at  Fort   Atkinson ;  became  connected  w^ith  the  house  of 
Pierre  Choteau,  Jr.,  &  Co.,  of  St.  Louis ;  had  charge  of  the  trade 
of  this  house  with  the  Chippewas  and  the  Winnebagoes  ;  con- 
trolled trading  posts  throughout  the  Chippewa  country  and  had 
great  influence  with  the  traders  and  Indians,  from  Lake  Superior 
to  Red    lake,  and   from  thence  to  the   British   Possessions ;  in 
1846  was  appointed  a  delegate   in  the  place   of  a  Winnebago 
chief,  to  negotiate  a  treaty  with  the  United  States  for  their  reser- 
vation in  Iowa,  and  in  negotiating  for  another  reservation    Mr. 
Rice  secured  the  sale  of  land,  which  greatly  aided  w^hite  settle- 
ment;  in   1847,  in  company  with  Gen.  Verplank,  he    purchased 
various  lands  of  the  Chippewas,  and  in  1847,  same  year,  of  the 
Pillager  Indians ;  and  in  185 1-3  and  4,  and  in  1863,  and  at  other 
times,  aided  in  making  treaties  w^ith  the  Sioux  and  Chippewas, 
whereby  the  greater  portion  of  the  land  of  our  State  was  ceded 
to  the  whites.     In  1848  he  purchased  of  John  R.  Irvine  eighty 
acres  of  land  lying  between  Seven  Corners  and  St.  Peter  street, 
from  the  river  back,  comprising  a  part  of  Rice  and  Irvine's  addi- 
tion to  St.  Paul,  paying  about  ;^400  for  it — w^orth  now  ^3,000,000 
— and  thereby  became  a  town  site  owner ;  erected  warehouses, 
hotels,  business  blocks;  induced  men  of  capital  to  come  here ; 
gave  away  land  for  churches,  schools,  parks  and  other  purposes; 
assisted  Gen.  Sibley  in  getting  through  Congress  a  bill  organiz- 
ing Minnesota  as  a  Territory ;    and  in  hundreds  of  other  ways 
greatly  aided  the  material   interests  of  our  city  and  State.     He 
was  also  the  founder  of  Bayfield,  Wisconsin,  in  1856.     In  1853 


a\Ir.  Rice  was  elected  a  dele^j^ate  to  Congress,  and  was  re-electodl 
in  1855.     Williams,  in  his  notice  of  hipi,  says: 

"He  procured  legislation  extending  the  pre-emption  system  to  unsur- 
veyed  lands;  also  opening  certain  military  reservations  to  actual  settlers.  Land 
offices  were  to  be  established,  post  routes  opened,  and  post-offices  created;  im- 
mense tracts  to  be  purchased  from  the  Indians  and  thrown  open  to  settlement. 
Besides,  there  were  countless  requests  from  private  individuals  for  favors  to  be 
secured  at  the  departments,  or  for  special  legislation,  so  that  one  can  form, 
some  idea  of  the  work  Mr.  Rice  accomplished.  Indeed,  only  those  who  lived 
in  Minnesota  during  that  period  can  know  what  it  really  owes  to  him  for  much 
of  its  material  progress. 

"In  1S57  Mr.  Rice  procured  the  passage  of  the  act  endowing  our  first 
land  grant  roads,  with  the  land  which  has  alone  secured  their  construction  and 
resulted  in  the  rapid  development  of  the  State.  Also,  establishing  here  a  Sur- 
veyor General's  office,  and,  more  important  in  some  respects  than  all,  was  the 
enabling  act  authorizing  Minnesota  to  form  a  State  government.  Mr.  Rice's- 
term  as  delegate,  closed  in  1857,  l)ut  he  was  at  once  elected  Senator  for  six 
years  by  the  first  State  Legislatiu-e.  During  this  term  the  rebellion  l^roke  out 
and  considerable  numbers  of  Minnesota  troops  were  stationed  at  Washington- 
Mr.  Rice's  kindness  and  liberalitv  to  our  soldiers  will  long  be  remembered- 
His  home  in  Washington  was  always  open,  as  well  as  his  purse,  to  the  sick 
and  destitute  soldier,  l^iu'ing  this  term  he  served  on  several  \  orv  important 
committees,  among  others,  on  finance,  on  military,  on  post-roads,  on  public- 
lands,  and  the  special  committee  to  report  some -mode  of  averting  the  threat- 
ened rupture  between  the  North  and  liic  South." 

Mr.  Rice's  political  career  virtually  ceased  when  he  left  the 
United  States  Senate,  althou^^h  he  was  elected  Treasurer  for 
Ramsey  County  for  three  terms,  by  handsome  majorities,  and 
he  made  important  improvements  in  that  office.  He  did  not 
serve  out  his  last  term,  but  resif^ned  on  account  of  ill  health. 
He  made  a  popular  and  faithful  Treasurer. 

In  addition  to  the  above  Mr.  Rice  was  the  president  of  the 
Chamber  of  Commerce  for  several  years;  also  member  of  the 
Board  of  Public  Works,  and  part  of  the  time  president;  president 
of  the  first  Society  for  the  Relief  of  the  Poor ;  president  of  the 
Old  Settlers'  Claim  Association  ;  member  of  the  Board  of  Regents 
of  the  State  CuiNcrsit}- ;  president  of  the  Historical  Society; 
director  in  fi\e  railroad  companies  ;  introduced  the  first  bill  and 
made  the  first  speech  in  favor  of  the  Northern  Pacific  Railroad, 
in  1858;  was  one  of  the  four  incorporators  of  that  road  allowed 
to  Minnesota,  and  the  first  Democratic  convention  in  the  Terri- 
tory met  at  his  house. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINX.  ISl 

In  speaking  in  the  United  States  Senate  of  the  Northern 
Pacific  route,  he  said  : 

"  It  can  scarcely  be  doubted  that  the  great  saving,  both  in  time  and  cost 
of  transportation,  would  cause  not  only  the  entire  American,  but  the  Europeati 
trade  with  China,  Japan,  and  the  Pacific  islands,  to  go  through  by  this  route, 
instead  of  going  around  the  Cape. 

"The  country  contains  a  larger  portion  of  available  soil  than  any  equal 
quantity  of  land  on  the  Atlantic  border.  North  of  the  forty-ninth  parallel  of 
latitude  fine  crops  are  raised,  and  the  wheat  is  of  so  fine  a  quality  that  it  is 
eagerly  sought  for  seed,  in  the  United  States. 

*'It  is  highly  esteemed  as  a  grazing  country.  Cattle  are  not  housed  dur- 
ing the  winter,  and  herds  are  frequently  driven  southward  five  or  seven  hun- 
dred miles,  and  then  disposed  of  at  a  profit." 


Among  other  donations  which  Mr.  Rice  has  from  time  to 
time  made  to  the  city  of  St.  Paul,  is  Rice  Park,  worth  now 
many  thousand  dollars.  The  record  also  shows,  that  he  gave  to 
the  St.  Joseph's  Hospital  a  little  over  two  acres,  upon  which  is 
now  the  large  German  Church,  hospital  and  schools,  and  this 
property  is  worth  near  a  million.  He  also  presented  Rice 
County,  named  after  him,  with  a  splendid  library  of  political  and 
historical  works  relating  to  the  government  from  its  foundation 
up,  and  valued  at  several  thousand  dollars.  Many  other  dona- 
tions of  money  and  of  land  have  been  made  by  Mr.  Rice,  for 
churches,  schools,  public  improvements,  &c.,  &c.,  so  that  he  can 
very  justly  be  placed  among  the  most  liberal  of  benefactors  to 
the  growth  of  St.  Paul  and  Minnesota. 

Mr.  Rice  was  married  to  Miss  Matilda  Whitall,  at  Rich- 
mond, Va.,  March  29th,  1849;  and  when  Senator  his  house  at 
Washington  was  the  centre  of  attraction  for  the  best  society. 


Of  the  many  men  who  have  acted  conspicuously  in  the  past 
history  of  our  city  and  State,  Mr.  Rice  was  not  only  the  first  to 
come  to  St.  Paul  to  reside  permanently,  in  the  early  part  of  1 849, 
but  is  pre-eminently  the  one  most  entitled  to  the  thanks  of  the 
people  for  the  indefatigable  efforts  he  has  always  made  to  advance 
our  material  interests.  He  not  only  invested  his  own  money 
here  but  he  induced  his  southern  friends  and  others  to  secure 
interests  in  the  coming  great  city,  and  by  various  means  per- 
suaded capitalists  to  come  in  and  take  possession  of  the  "  goodly 
land,"  and  they  came. 



Mr.  Rice  had  made  his  quarters  for  some  time  at  Mendota, 
when,  in  the  winter  of  1848  and  the  spring  of  1849,  he  com- 
menced erecting  hotels,  warehouses,  etc.,  in  St.  Paul,  and  in 
June  of  the  latter  year  he  and  his  family  embarked  in  a  birch - 
bark  canoe  and  floated  down  to  this  city,  where  he  made  it  his 
home  and  where  he  has  resided  ever  since. 

About  thirty-six  years  ago  Mr.  Rice  purchased  one-third  of 
Dayton  &  Irvine's  Addition  for  ^1.50  per  acre;  now  worth  from 
;$20,ooo  to  $30,000  per  acre ;  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres 
known  as  Woodland  Park,  for  $33  per  acre;  now  worth  from 
;^i 5,000  to  $20,000  per  acre;  twenty  acres  in  Breckenridge  & 
Magoffin's  Addition  for  ^90  for  the  whole  twenty  acres;  now 
worth  from  $75,000  to  $100,000;  several  hundred  acres  on  the 
Fort  road  for  $10  per  acre ;  now  w^orth  from  $10,000  to  $15,000 
per  acre  ;  fort}^  acres  where  the  Omaha  shops  now  stand,  for 
$1.25  per  acre  ;  now  worth — the  forty  acres — $100,000.  These 
are  only  a  few  of  the  many  real  estate  transactions  Mr.  Rice  has 
had  while  a  resident  of  this  city. 

a  great  promoter. 

He  encouraged  stage-coaches,  hotels,  steamboats,  railroads, 
churches,  parks,  business  enterprises  ;  in  fact  anything  that  w^ould 
tend  to  the  growth  of  St.  Paul  and  Minnesota.  He  not  only 
did  this,  but  he  improved  the  property  he  owned  and  aided  oth- 
ers to  do  so.  He  gave  generously  of  his  lands  and  of  his  means 
to  every  public  enterprise,  and  one  can  scarcely  turn  a  corner 
and  not  find  some  donation  of  this  liberal-hearted  man.  He  came 
to  Fort  Snelling  forty-six  years  ago ;  to  St.  Paul  thirty-six  years 
ago,  and  during  all  these  years  he  has  manifested  a  lively  interest 
in  the  growth  of  both  the  city  and  the  State.  He  erected  the 
second  brick  house  in  the  city  and  State,  which  stood  on  the 
corner  of  Third  and  Washington  streets,  (^now  on  site  of  the 
Metropolitan  hotel ;)  secured  himself  a  homestead  in  the  shape 
of  a  fine  brick  residence,  the  first  house  on  Summit  avenue,  on  a 
claim  of  one  hundred  and  twenty  acres  which  he  called  his  farm, 
and  what  is  somewhat  singular  is  the  fact,  that  the  land  upon 
which  his  house  used  to  stand  is  now  the  property  of  his  son-in- 
law,  Maurice  Auerbach,  P.sq.     These  one  hundred  and  twenty 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  i:^3 

acres,  at  a  valuation  of  only  ^3,000  per  acre,  would  no^\  be  worth 
3360,000;  cost  Mr.  Rice  ;^33  per  acre,  or  about  34,000.  Later 
still,  he  built  another  house  on  the  avenue  overlooking  the  city, 
and  here  he  resided  until  about  two  years  ago,  when  he  erected 
a  residence  nearly  opposite  where  he  now  lives. 


Many  distinguished  men  have  gathered  in  the  parlors  of 
Mr.  Rice's  old  residence,  and  could  the  ancient  walls  have  spoken 
before  they  were  taken  down,  they  could  have  told  of  many  in- 
teresting schemes,  political  and  otherwise.  But  the  old  and 
favorite  homestead  has  gone.  Many  of  those  who  once  crossed 
its  threshold  so  eagerly,  have  also  gone.  The  play-ground  of 
the  little  girls  (now  mothers,)  is  gone.  The  sweet  twilight  of  a 
summer's  eve,  as  it  lingered  on  a  beautiful  landscape  of  hill,  and 
dale,  and  river,  and  city,  is  gone.  Slight  threads  of  gray  are 
sprinkled  amid  the  once  black  locks  of  youth  and  beauty,  and 
the  longing  heart  reaches  out  into  the  past  and  gropes  for  scenes 
that  will  never  come  again.  Gone  is  the  singing  of  the  birds  and 
the  laughter  of  childhood.  The  fond,  cherished  dream  of  a 
hallowed  old  age  has  disappeared  in  the  mists  of  the  morning  ; 
but  the  roar  of  the  city  is  still  the  same,  only  louder  ;  the  tread 
of  feet  is  still  the  same,  only  more  solid ;  the  hum  of  life  is  still 
the  same,  only  greater ;  and  the  burdens  of  the  day  are  still  the 
same,  only  more  of  them,  and  heavier.  And  so  the  old  things 
of  the  past  give  way  to  the  new,  and  the  scenes  of  a  busy  life, 
**  like  specters  grim  and  tall,"  walk  through  the  corridors  of 
memory  and  startle  us  with  the  onward  march  of  time. 


In  1855  the  writer  earnestly  espoused  the  cause  of  William 
R.  Marshall,  who  was  then  running  on  the  Republican  ticket  as 
a  delegate  for  Congress  against  H.  M.  Rice,  regular  Democrat, 
and  David  Olmsted,  anti-Nebraska  Democrat.  It  w^as  under- 
stood by  the  Olmsted  party,  headed  by  Gov.  Willis  A.  Gorman, 
now  dead,  that  in  case  it  should  appear  that  Olmsted  had  no 
show  of  an  election  he  would  throw  his  forces  for  Marshall, 
which  would  have  secured  his  election,  as  Olmsted  wished  to 


defeat  Rice,  but  at  the  last  minute  Gorman  opposed  this  move- 
ment ;  Olmsted  remained  in  the  field,  Marshall  was  defeated 
and  Rice  elected. 

Ten  years  after  Mr.  Rice  had  beaten  Mr.  Marshall  for  del- 
egate for  Congress,  he  ran  for  Governor  against  Marshall,  and 
Marshall  beat  Rice  by  3,476  votes,  thus  turning  the  tables,  Mar- 
shall going  into  power  and  Rice  going  out. 

At  that  time,  in  1855,  I  had  never  seen  Mr.  Rice,  but  learn- 
ing from  the  then  Executive  of  the  State  that  Mr.  Rice  had  been 
instrumental  in  removing  the  Winnebago  Indians  from  Long 
Prairie  to  Mankato,  and  that  it  was  an  unpopular  theme  at  the 
latter  place,  when  I  spoke  there  in  defense  of  Marshall  and  against 
Rice,  I  charged  Rice  with  the  act.  At  the  conclusion  of  my 
speech  a  quietly-spoken  gentleman  in  the  audience  arose  and 
said — "  The  speaker  was  a  good  talker — had  said  a  good  deal, 
and  many  interesting  things,  but  that  he  had  told  more  lies  in  a 
given  length  of  time  than  any  man  he  had  ever  heard,"  alluding 
more  particularly  to  my  charge  against  Mr.  Rice.  It  proved 
to  be  P.  K.  Johnson,  and  on  investigation  I  found  that  I  had 
been  actually  lying  on  the  authority  of  the  Governor  of  the  Ter- 
ritory of  Minnesota,  who,  no  doubt,  had  himself  been  misinformed, 
and  that  Johnson  was  right.  I  immediately  wrote  to  Mr.  Rice 
disclaiming  any  intention  to  do  him  a  wrong,  and  this  opened  a 
friendship  which  has  existed  ever  since. 

"you  shan't  speak  here." 

During  the  same  campaign  I  made  arrangements  to  address 
a  meeting  at  Manomin,  or  Rice  Creek,  in  favor  of  Marshall,  and  I 
had  the  assurance,  or  my  agent  had,  of  the  hotel  proprietor.  Col. 
John  Banfill,  that  I  should  be  heard  ;  so  I  rode  night  and  day  in 
a  buggy  to  keep  m\'  appointment,  but  when  the  time  came  to 
speak  I  was  told  that  inasmuch  as  I  was  attacking  Mr.  Rice, 
that  I  should  not  speak  in  the  hotel;  and  so,  thus  refused,  I 
repaired  to  a  saloon  near  by,  whose  doors  were  thrown  open, 
and  addressed  quite  a  crowd  of  red-shirted  lumbermen,  who 
treated  me  with  the  greatest  consideration,  notwithstanding  I  did 
pummel  Mr.  Rice  to  the  best  of  my  ability,  lea\  ing  out,  how- 
ever, the  charge  made  at  Mankato,  about  the  Indians.  The 
owner  of  the  hotel  was  a  personal  friend  of  Mr.  Rice,  and  would 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MLNN.  135 

not  listen  to  anything  derogatory  to  him,  even  of  a  political 
nature.  As  the  landlord  refused  to  let  me  speak  in  his  house,  so 
I  refused  to  put  up  with  him,  and  at  night,  and  dark,  my  agent 
and  myself  crossed  on  the  ferry  to  the  west  side  of  the  river  and 
made  for  a  farm-house  which  we  found  empty,  spent  the  night 
.as  best  we  could,  and  the  next  day  both  our  horse  and  ourselves 
made  a  dinner  out  of  raw  corn  which  was  plucked  from  the  field. 
Then  farm-houses  were  three  and  four  miles  apart ;  now  this 
whole  section  of  country  is  thickly  settled  with  farms  and  even 
flourishing  towns,  and  good  hotels  can  be  found  in  every  direc- 


In  the  winter  of  i860   and    1861   the   writer   spent  several 
weeks  in  Washington  just  at  the  time  when  the  feeling  between 
the  two  sections  of  the  country  was  at  its  highest ;  when  south- 
ern members  of  Congress  were  seething  with    rage ;  when  civil 
war  was  imminent ;  when  northern  men  were  trying  to  prevent 
•  disunion;  when   the    guns   of  the    South  were   turned   on   Fort 
Sumpter;    when   Wigfall,    and    Slidell,    and    Mason,    and    other 
Southern  members  were  threatening  to  leave  the  Congress  of 
the  United  States  ;  when  the  whole  of  Washington  society  was 
heaving  with  excitement;  when  Jo.  Lane  had  just  delivered  his 
speech  in  favor  of  the  South,   and  Andrew  Johnson   had   been 
announced   to   reply  to   him;   when   both    houses   were    crowd- 
ed with    anxious   and   excited   spectators   waiting   for  Johnson's 
speech  ;  when,  just  at  this  time,  I  strolled  into  the  Senate  chamber 
.and  took   my  seat    in   the    gallery.     Johnson  was   speaking   in 
defense  of  the  Union,  and  at  the  close  of  his  speech  thunders  of 
.applause  greeted  his  sentiments,  and  of  course  the  galleries  were 
cleared.     Partaking  of  the  excitement  of  the  moment,  I  rushed 
down   stairs   and   sent  my  card    to    Morton   S.  Wilkinson,   our 
Republican  Senator,  whom  I  had  materially  aided  in  electing  to 
Congress,  but  he  was  too  busy  with  great  national  affairs  to  give 
me  any  attention,  so  I  skipped  around  to  the  other  door  and  sent 
my   compliments   to   Mr.   Rice,   our    Democratic    Senator,   who 
immediately  appeared,  and  invited  me  into  the  cloak  room  of  the 
Senate.  "  But  the  rules,  Mr.  Rice — "said  the  doorkeeper.  "  Never 
mind  the  rules,"   said  Mr.  Rice,  "  I'll  be  responsible,"  and  in  a 


minute  more  I  stood  in  the  presence  of  .Vndrew  Johnson^ 
Stephen  A.  Douglas  and  Jo.  Lane.  This  is  a  Httle  thing  of  itself^ 
but  it  only  shows  the  character  of  the  man. 


It  will  be  remembered  by  my  readers,  that  in  1861,  just  be- 
fore the  outbreak  of  the  rebellion,  $875,000  of  certain  bonds  held 
by  the  government  in  trust  for  the  Indian  tribes,  had  been  ab- 
stracted from  the  safe  of  the  Secretary  of  the  Interior,  and  at  the 
time  of  the  discovery  intense  excitement  followed.     It  seems  that 
a  clerk  by  the  name  of  Bailey,  under  Thompson,  transferred  tO' 
a   man  by  the  name  of  Russell,  as   security  only,  these  bonds,, 
but  Russell  sold  them,  the  knowledge  of  which  coming  to  Mr. 
Rice,  he  questioned  Mr.  Bailey,  who  was   Secretary  Thompson's 
confidential  clerk  and  financial  agent  for  the  Indian  trust  bonds,, 
amounting  in  all  to  three  million  dollars.     Bailey  acknowledged 
that  he  had  given  to   Russell,  of  the  firm  of  Russell,  Majors  & 
Wardell,  nearly  a  million  of  the  Indian  trust  bonds  for  the  same 
amount  of  Secretary  Floyd's  acceptances   as  Secretary  of  War. 
These  illegal  acceptances  coming  due,  and  no  funds  being  in  the- 
War  Department  to  meet  them,  rendered  the  sale  of  the  bonds,, 
held  by  other  parties,  a  necessity.     There  being  no  escape  from 
exposure,  Bailey  prepared  a  statement  of  the  transaction,  and 
with  the  papers,  handed  the  same  to   Mr.  Rice,  requesting  him 
to  deliver  them  to  Secretary  Thompson  on  his  return,  he    be- 
ing then  absent  in   North  Carolina.     Mr.  Rice  told   Mr.  Baile>' 
that  he   could  not  keep  them  in  his  possession  a  moment  longer 
than  it  would  take  him  to  reach  the  White  House,  where  he  at 
once  went  and  laid  the  documents  before  the  President  of  the 
United  States,  James  Buchanan,  who,  on  discovering  the  theft, 
remarked — "  Well,  Mr.  Rice,  secession  is  bad  enough,  but  this  is- 
worse."     Mr.  Rice  was  the  first  person  who  disco\ered  the  fraud- 
ulent abstraction   of  these  bonds,  and  Thompson,  who  returned 
unexpectedly  that  evening,  fearing  that  other  bonds  to  the  amount 
of  $3,000,000  had  also  been  stolen,  Mr.  Rice,  with   Bailey  and 
others,  examined  the  archi\'es  in  the  Interior  Department,  but 
found  them  all  safe.     A  conmiittee  of  the  House  was  appointed 
to  investigate  the  matter,  who,  in  concluding  their  report,  say: 

"  Your  committee  were  satisfied  that  Mr.  Rice  labored  with  energy  and 
zeal  to  aid  the  government,  and  is  entitled  to  the  thanks  of  the  House  and  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINX.  137 


A  brick  row  of  three  houses  situated  on  a  pleasant  street  in 
Washington,  was  designated  as  "  Minnesota  Row,"  having  been 
erected  jointly  by  Messrs.  Rice,  Douglas  and  Breckenridge.  Mr. 
Douglas  lived  in  one  of  the  end  houses,  and  Mr.  Rice  in  the 
middle.  When  the  war  broke  out  the  row  was  appropriated  by 
the  government  as  a  hospital ;  subsequently  one  of  the  houses 
was  purchased  by  General  Grant  and  another  by  General  Sher- 
man. It  was  here  that  Mr.  Rice  showed  his  greatest  power  ; 
here  he  received  all  classes  of  people  of  all  parties,  dispensed 
generous  hospitality  and  treated  them  kindly ;  here  he  sought  to 
conciliate  conflicting  political  views,  and  here  he  quietly  yet 
earnestly  labored  for  the  preservation  of  the  Union. 

No  man  had  greater  power  with  all  the  Departments  at 
Washington,  than  had  Mr.  Rice.  Everywhere  he  was  received 
with  great  consideration,  and  during  his  official  position  he 
accomplished  wonderful  results  for  the  good  of  our  city  and  our 
State.  History  is  history ;  facts  are  facts  ;  right  is  right.  Very 
few  men  in  Washington  were  more  highly  respected  or  more 
courteously  received  by  men  of  all  parties  before  the  war,  than 
Hon.  H.  M.  Rice. 

MR.  RICE    AS    A    MAN. 

Any  Individual  who  can  go  from  the  extreme  frontier  of  our 
country,  leaving  savage  surroundings,  and  enter  directly  into  the 
Senate  of  the  United  States,  and  command  the  respect  and  even 
admiration  of  men  of  culture  and  letters,  and  who,  then,  can 
return  from  the  Capital  of  the  nation  and  command  the  confi- 
dence and  respect  of  our  Indian  tribes,  as  Mr.  Rice  could  and 
can,  and  did  do,  is  a  somewhat  remarkable  character,  to  say 
nothing  of  the  mental  qualities  which  permitted  him  to  cope  with 
the  best  men  of  the  nation.  Tall  and  slender,  with  a  fine  head 
upon  his  shoulders,  and  commanding  presence,  Mr.  Rice  wins 
friends  by  his  exceedingly  courteous  manner.  He  has  a  swaying 
motion  when  he  walks  ;  is  dignified,  pleasing,  cautious ;  some- 
what retiring  in  his  nature ;  a  fine  conversationalist ;  adverse  to 
publicity ;  a  lover  of  home,  and  an  honorable,  upright,  manly 
citizen.  He  partakes  largely  of  the  affability  accorded  to  his 
contemporary,  Gov.  Ramsey,  but  is  more  polished  in  his  manner 


of  showing  it.  It  would  be  difficult  to  find  two  men  so  well 
adapted  to  public  life,  as  H.  M.  Rice  and  Alexander  Ramsey, 
and  especially  so  as  men  who  have  won  public  regard  by  their 
hearty  greetings  and  politeness.  Mr.  Rice  ranks  am^ng  the  most 
notable  and  able  men  of  the  Northwest,  and  his  own  acts  bespeak 
his  best  praise.  History  will  write  his  name  high  up  on  the  scroll 
of  honor,  and  Minnesota  can  never  afford  to  forget  either  him 
or  his  worthy  deeds. 


This  is  the  outcome  of  Mr.  Rice's  generosity.  For  years 
after  the  native  trees  had  been  cut  off  it,  it  presented  a  barren  and 
forsaken  look.  A  florist  by  the  name  of  Hanson  finally  got  per- 
mission of  the  city  to  put  his  green-house  there  for  several  years 
in  consideration  of  his  planting  trees  and  making  them  grow,  and 
the  result  of  that  wise  measure  is  the  present  little  green  oasis, 
which,  under  the  guidance  of  a  master  hand  in  nature's  adorn- 
ments, has  made  it  the  admiration  of  all. 


In  1854  I  met  Mrs.  Ramsey  for  the  first  time — a  tall,  well- 
formed,  queenly-looking  woman  ;  conmianding  in  her  manners, 
yet  gentle  and  loving  in  her  nature.  She  had  been  married  only 
four  years  when  the  Governor  and  herself  took  up  their  abode  in 
the  crude  gubernatorial  residence  on  lower  Third  street,  St.  Paul, 
and  one  can  imagine  the  cares  and  deprivations  of  her  early  pio- 
neer life  and  the  immense  tax  upon  her  disposition  to  maintain 
her  equilibrium  amid  the  trying  scenes  of  those  early  days  ;  and 
yet  she  was  equal  to  the  emergency.  Throughout  a  quarter  of  a 
century  she  not  only  greatly  aided  by  her  diplomacy  her  husband 
in  his  political  career,  but  has  maintained  the  regard  and  esteem 
of  the  public  for  her  many  private  excellencies.  The  autumnal 
tint  of  years  onl)-  adds  to  her  graces,  while  in  the  social  circle 
she  still  maintains  her  supremacy,  as  she  always  has.  Mrs.  Ram- 
sey was  born  in  Newton,  Pennsylvania,  in  1827  ;  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1849;  died  November  29,  1884,  aged  fifty-eight  years. 

MRS.  H.  M.  RICE. 

A  bright,  beautiful  countenance,  with  black  hair  and  black 
eyes,  as  I  remember  her  in  early    da)'s,  Mrs.   Rice    united  the 

OF  iST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  139 

characteristics  of  a  southern  beauty  with  northern  tact.  Most  of 
her  married  years  have  been  spent  amid  the  scenes  of  her  hus- 
band's pohtical  battles,  and  she  herself  has  figured  in  the  gay 
society  of  Washington  life.  Indeed,  she  has  been  an  important 
factor  in  the  power  behind  the  throne,  and  though  quiet  and 
undemonstrative  her  power  has  been  none  the  less  effective.  The 
early  cares  of  years  already  gone,  onh^  create  a  subdued  mellow- 
ness which  adds  to  the  charms  of  a  gentle,  loving  woman. 

MEETliNG    OF    THE    FIRST    COURT    OF    THE     rEKKITORY. 

This  event  took  place  in  the  city  of  St.  Paul  on  the  2d  of 
August,  1849.  The  officers  were  Chief  Justice  Aaron  Goodrich, 
Judge  Meeker,  Judge  Cooper,  and  James  K.  Humphrey,  Clerk. 
It  was  a  motley  grouping  of  diversified  humanity,  antagonistic  in 
their  peculiar  characteristics,  yet  in  the  whole  make-up  able  and 
judicial.  Here  was  Judge  Goodrich  with  his  angularity,  story- 
telling propensities,  and  positiveness  of  character ;  here  was 
Meeker  with  his  slow,  plodding,  gross  materiality  ;  here  Cooper 
with  his  ruffled  shirt  bosom,  and  his  precise,  nice,  punctilious 
methods  ;  Humphrey  with  his  cautious,  careful,  measured  air ; 
and  thus  the  Court  opened  with  twenty  lawyers  in  attendance  and 
only  one  juryman  with  a  pair  of  boots.  Chief  Justice  Goodrich 
was  assisted  by  Cooper,  and  although  he  occasionally  shocked 
the  delicate  nerves  of  Cooper  by  a  funny  story,  yet  the  proceed- 
mgs  were  conducted  with  due  decorum  and  dignity.  This  was 
the  first  District  Court,  and  the  term  lasted  six  davs.  The  second 
District  Court  was  held  by  Judge  Meeker  on  the  west  banks  of 
the  Mississippi,  opposite  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony.  The  third 
District  Court  was  held  at  Mendota,  Judge  Cooper  presiding. 
Only  three  of  the  jurymen  could  understand  the  charge  of  the 
Judge,  among  whom  was  Gen.  Sibley,  foreman,  all  the  rest  being 
French.  And  thus  were  set  in  motion  the  wheels  of  the  great 
law  car  which  has  been  moving  forward  with  great  velocity  evei 


In  the  latter  part  of  1849  St.  Paul  had  five  ministers,  four- 
teen lawyers,  two  land  agents,  five  doctors,  sixteen  merchants, 
three  tailors,  one  shoemaker,  or  sole-saver,  five  hotels,  two  paint- 


ers,  four  blacksmiths,  four  masons,  sixteen  carpenters,  five  bak- 
ers, one  silversmith,  one  gunsmith,  etc.,  etc.,  beside  a  numerous 
retinue  of  half-breeds  and  Indians.  The  trade  that  year  was 
;^ 1 31,000.  The  trade  of  1885,  wholesale  and  retail,  will  reach 
near  3100,000,000!  This  tells  the  story  of  St.  Paul's  growth 
better  than  anything  else  can. 

The  first  exclusive  hardware  store  in  the  city,  was  estab- 
lished in  1849  by  John  McCloud  &  Brothers,  and  the  building 
which  they  built  is  still  standing,  on  the  corner  of  Third  and 
Cedar  streets,  now  occupied  as  a  dry-goods  store.  Mr.  John 
McCloud,  I  believ'e,  is  at  Bayfield,  and  one  of  his  brothers,  Joe, 
after  trying  farming  in  Dakota,  returned  to  Philadelphia,  from 
whence  the  McClouds  originally  came.  They  were  small,  active, 
honest  men,  but  the  population  at  that  early  day  would  not  sus- 
tain their  trade,  and  since  then  the  wave  of  immigration  has 
washed  them  almost  out  of  memory.  And  so  goes  the  world  ; 
one  is  up  while  the  other  is  down.  Teeter-taunter,  teeter-taunter, 
teeter-taunter ! 

The  first  furniture  store  in  1849  stood  on  the  corner  of  Third 
and  Minnesota  streets,  known  as  the  Stees  old  stand,  kept  by  a 
man  by  the  name  of  J.  W.  Frost.  He  used  to  make  pine  furni- 
ture and  repair  otjier  articles  of  household  use.  He  sold  out  to 
Washington  Stees  in  1850,  and  from  that  small  beginning  has 
grown  the  large  furniture  establishment  which  has  recently  passed 
out  of  the  old  proprietors'  hands  into  that  of  a  new  firm. 


Dayton's  Bluff  derives  its  name  from  this  gentleman,  to 
whom  I  have  previously  alluded,  and  who  was  born  in  Connec- 
ticut in  1 8 10.  He  was  of  English  descent,  and  when  a  boy 
clerked  in  a  dry-goods  house  and  subsequently  went  into  busi- 
ness for  himself  in  Providence,  Rhode  Island.  From  1840  to 
1849  he  did  a  large  trade  in  New  York,  when,  in  consequence 
of  ill-health,  he  retired  from  active  labor  and  that  year  came  to 
St.  Paul,  where  he  commenced  purchasing  real  estate,  and  did 
not  stop  until  he  had  secured  some  5,000  acres.  A  large  num- 
ber of  these  acres  are  now  within  the  city  limits,  and  while  they 
cost  Mr.  Dayton  originally  ;$4,ooo,  they  are  now  worth  34,000,- 
000,  as  the  property  lies  in  a  central  and  valuable  portion  of  St. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MIXX.  141 

Paul.  Mr.  Dayton  founded  the  town  at  the  junction  of  the  Crow- 
river  and  the  Mississippi,  which  bears  his  name,  and  where  his 
widow  now  Hves.  He  was  the  proprietor  and  the  first  president 
of  the  Lake  Superior  and  Mississippi  Raihvay  Company,  and 
continued  so  until  his  death,  and  gave  a  great  deal  of  his  time 
and  i^  1 0,000  in  money  to  promote  its  interests.  He  never  asked 
or  received  any  salary.  He  married  Miss  Maria  Bates,  and  died 
in  1865  aged  fifty-five  years.     His  widow  still  survives  him. 

He  was  a  good-sized,  pussy  man,  full  of  activity,  and  had 
unbounded  faith  in  the  growth  of  St.  Paul.  He  possessed  great 
energy  ;  was  kind-hearted  ;  liberal ;  public-spirited,  and  had  he 
lived  and  held  on  to  his  property,  his  real  estate  would  have 
made  him  immensely  rich. 


His  only  son,  used  to  keep  a  real  estate  office  in  a 
small  wooden  building  where  IngersoU's  block  now  stands. 
Later,  and  after  the  death  of  his  father,  he  devoted  his 
time  almost  exclusively  to  the  estate,  although  he  was  educated 
a  lawyer  and  is  a  gentleman  of  a  good  deal  of  intelligence  and 
sharp  business  tact.  Latterly  he  has  been  investing  in.  Dakota, 
and  bids  fair  to  be  a  very  rich  man.  He  is  ab  -ut  50  years  of  age 
and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849, 


A  man  by  the  name  of  Young  has  the  honor  of  issuing  the 
first  bank  bills,  signed  by  a  confederate  by  the  name  of  Sawyer. 
They  read — "  Bank  of  St.  Croix,  St.  Paul,  Minnesota."  These 
bills  were  quoted  in  Wall  street  at  one  per  cent,  discount,  and  of 
course  were  a  fraud.  Young  disappeared  and  the  affair  col- 

The  first  Masonic  lodge  was  instituted  in  1849,  ^^^  the  first 

Mason  made  in  the  Territory  that  year  was  a  man  by  the  name 
of  Scott. 

This  year  also  witnessed  the  organization  of  the  Odd  Fel- 
lows and  the  Sons  of  Temperance.  Indeed,  I  may  say  that  1849 
was  a  "boss  year"  for  Minnesota. 


Up  to  November,  1849,  St.  Paul  was  legally  nothing  but  a 
"  place."     This   year   the  Legislature  passed  a  bill,  which  was 


approved  by  the  Gov^ernor,  making  the  '*  place  "  the  "  Town  of  St. 
Paul."  Ramsey  County  was  created,  and  St.  Paul  was  made  the 
county  seat.  Provisions  were  effected  for  the  appointment  of 
officers,  and  the  residents  of  the  Httle  hamlet  became  as  proud 
as  the  citizens  of  any  big  town  could  be,  over  the  prospective 
growth  and  greatness  of  "  our  city."  And  from  that  day  to  this 
St.  Paul  has  been  stretching,  growing,  spreading  out,  until  she 
has  reached  the  magnificent  proportions  of  120,000  people! 
Truly,  *'  great  oaks  from  little  acorns  grow." 


Dr.  Potts  was  born  in  Philadelphia  in  18 10;  graduated  at 
the  Medical  Department  of  the  University  of  Pennsylvania  in 
1831  ;  resided  at  Natchez,  Mississippi,  ten  years;  in  1841  re- 
moved to  Galena,  Illinois;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849,  where  he 
practiced  medicine  for  twenty-six  years ;  was  at  one  time  Con- 
tract Surgeon  at  Fort  Snelling ;  Pension  Surgeon,  Medical  Pur- 
veyor of  the  District,  physician  to  the  Sioux,  etc.;  in  1850  was 
president  of  the  Town  Board;  in  1866  City  Physician;  Health 
Officer  in  1873  ;  was  married  at  Fort  Snelling  in  1847,  to  Miss 
Abbey  Steele ;  died  suddenly  in  the  city  of  St.  Paul,  October^ 
1 874,  aged  sixty-four  years. 


Dr.  Potts  was  an  **  institution  "  of  the  city,  having  practiced 
here  for  over  a  quarter  of  a  century,  and  was  well  known  among 
all  the  old  settlers.  He  was  a  decided  allopath  ;  believed  in 
heavy  doses,  and  ridiculed  the  efficacy  o^  small  pills.  At  the 
time  of  his  death  he  was  the  oldest  practicing  physician  in  St. 
Paul.  He  was  a  man  of  strong  predilictions  ;  full  of  fun  and 
humor;  social  in  his  nature  and  kind-hearted  in  his  practice. 
He  resided  for  many  years  in  a  small  white  house  on  Robert 
street,  and  though  having  a  large  practice  and  a  number  of  offices, 
yet  he  had  only  a  slight  appreciation  of  money,  and  left  but  little 
property  to  his  widow,  who  is  still  living  and  residing  in  the 
family  of  Gen.  Sibley.  Ovxq  looking  upon  her  tall  and  graceful 
form  and  pleasant  countenance,  though  saddened  by  care  and 
sorrow,  is  forcibly  reminded  of  the  old,  old  times  which  have  gone, 
never  to  return. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  14S 


Among  the  ancient  and  original  characters  of  the  past  is 
Charles  Conway,  an  old  editor  and  an  old  printer,  and  a  man  of 
considerable  ability.  He  was  born  in  Indiana  in  1822  ;  remo\ed 
to  Michigan  in  1831  ;  to  Illinois  in  1837,  where  he  attended  the 
University  at  Battle  Creek  and  also  at  Rockford  in  1838.  He 
began  his  apprenticeship  at  the  printing  trade  in  Detroit;  in  1844 
started  and  edited  the  Rockford  Fonitn ;  sold  out  and  returned 
to  Madison,  Wisconsin,  and  in  the  fall  of  1846  enlisted  in  the 
Mexican  war,  where  he  remained  nearly  two  years  ;  returned 
again  to  Madison  in  1848,  and  purchased  wdiat  is  now  the  pres- 
ent Democrat;  ran  it  about  one  year  and  then  sold  out;  married 
Miss  Jane  E.  Nichols,  and  in  1849  nioved  to  St.  Paul;  was  the 
first  foreman  of  James  M.  Goodhue,  of  the  Piojieer,  and  Superin- 
tendent of  Public  Printing,  and  in  1850  formed  a  copartnership — 
Lambert,  Conway  &  Nichols — to  carry  on  the  real  estate  busi- 
ness;  in  1 85 1  the  firm  dissolved  by  the  death  of  Nichols,  and 
Conway  left  for  California,  where  he  started  the  Los  Angeles 
News,  which  he  ran  six  years  during  the  rebellion  ;  sold  out  and 
returned  to  St.  Paul  in  1867,  and  in  1869  went  to  Rochester, 
Minnesota,  and  founded  the  Central  Record  and  took  an  active 
part  against  the  ^5,000,000  railroad  bonds;  left  the  paper  and 
went  on  a  farm  ;  removed  to  La  Crosse  to  give  his  children  an 
education,  and  from  thence  removed  to  Dresbach,  Minnesota, 
where  he  now  resides. 


He  once  owned  200  acres  on  Goose  lake,  adjoining  White 
Bear,  for  which  he  paid  $\,2^  per  acre,  or  ;^25o;  worth  now 
;^6o,ooo.  His  house  and  office  formerly  stood  on  Third  street, 
near  Cedar,  and  the  eighty  feet,  which  cost  him  then  3250,  are 
now  worth  close  to  ;$8o,ooo.  Lots  in  Patterson's  addition  which 
he  sold  for  325  and  $30  per  lot,  are  now  worth  ^$4,000  per  lot. 
He  owned  ten  acres  just  north  of  the  Manitoba  shops,  for  which 
he  paid  ^10  per  acre,  and  sold  for  ^25  per  acre;  now  worth 
;^2,ooo  per  acre. 

He  is  a  slender  gentleman ;  deliberate  in  his  speech ;  comi- 
cal and  original  in  his  expressions,  but  disconnected  in  his  con- 
versation.    Having  seen  a  good  deal  of  human  nature,  he  hasn't 


much  confidence  in  that  commodity.  He  knows  how  to  make 
money,  but  he  can't  get  it,  because  he  won't  he  and  steal.  He 
has  an  inventive  turn  of  mind,  and  if  he  could  only  "  hitch 
up  "  with  some  supremely  selfish  specimen  of  humanity,  Con- 
way might  be  a  rich  man.  As  it  is,  he  is  a  quiet,  pleasant,  hon- 
est, clever  gentleman,  whose  reward,  if  he  gets  any,  will  be  in 
another  world,  not  this. 


The  subject  of  this  sketch  has  been  in  the  past  and  is  to-day  a 
character — an  individualization — a  positiveness — an  originality — 
markedly  different  from  other  men  in  this  particular,  that  he  ex- 
presses his  own  sentiments  in  his  own  way,  and  is  always  ready 
and  willing  and  able  to  ciefend  them.  He  was  born  in  Sempro- 
nius,  Cayuga  County,  New  York,  in  1807;  practiced  law  in  Ten- 
nessee ;  was  elected  as  a  Whig  to  the  House  of  Representives  of 
that  State,  in  which  capacity  he  served  to  the  satisfaction  of  his 
constituents ;  was  a  Presidential  elector  on  the  whig  ticket  in 
1848  ;  was  appointed  by  President  Taylor  in  March,  1849,  Chief 
Justice  of  Minnesota,  and  took  up  his  residence  in  St.  Paul  that 
year  ;  presided  at  the  first  term  of  the  Supreme  Court  in  the  Ter- 
ritory ;  held  the  first  District  Court  at  Stillwater,  Sauk  Rapids 
and  St.  Paul  ;  was  a  corporate  member  of  the  Historical  Society ; 
a  charter  member  of  the  first  Masonic  lodge ;  a  corporate  mem- 
ber of  the  Grand  Lodge  of  the  State;  drew  up  the  first  Repub- 
lican platform  adopted  in  this  State  ;  prepared  a  code  of  pleadings 
and  practice ;  was  a  member  of  the  Republican  National  Con- 
vention at  Chicago ;  labored  to  secure  the  nomination  of  Seward 
for  President ;  was  appointed  Secretary  of  Legation  to  Brussels, 
which  position  he  held  eight  years ;  returned  to  St.  Paul  in 
1869;  wrote  a  book  entitled  "A  history  of  the  character  and 
achievements  of  the  so-called  Christopher  Columbus;"  arguing 
that  the  name  and  pretended  achievements  of  that  individual 
were  mythical ;  married  a  Miss  Paris  ;  was  a  member  of  the  Cin- 
cinnati convention  which  nominated  Horace  Greeley,  in  which 
body  he  cast  his  vote  for  Judge  Davis,  of  Illinois.  Judge  Good- 
rich was  not  pleased  with  the  action  of  that  convention.  He  was 
one  of  the  original  movers  in  the  organization  of  the  "  Old  Set- 
tlers' Association"  in  1858;    has  been  its   secretary  nearly  ever 

(fF  iST.  PALL,  MIXN.  145 

since.  Of  late  the  Judge  has  devoted  his  leisure  moments  to  re- 
vising his  book,  reading,  studying,  digging  into  the  rubbish  of 
the  past.  He  was  a  great  admirer  of  Wm.  H.  Seward,  and  tried 
very  hard  to  make  him  President.  In  a  speech  introducing  Sew- 
ard to  a  St.  Paul  audience,  the  Judge  gave  utterance  to  senti- 
ments highly  complimentary  to  his  friend,  who  greatly  appreciated 


Judge  Goodrich  is  a  tall,  spare  man,  with  an  exceedingly 
active  brain  ;  speaks  quickly  and  decidedly  ;  talks  right  at  you 
with  an  earnestness  born  of  a  conviction  that  he  is  right,  while 
his  eyes  dilate,  as  they  move  rapidly  in  their  sockets,  and  his 
voice  becomes  louder  as  he  proceeds  with  his  reasons  for  his 
opinion,  which  he  proposes  you  shall  not  misunderstand.  He  is 
a  walking  encyclopedia  of  ancient  and  biblical  history ;  an  arse- 
nal of  fun  and  fact ;  a  magazine  full  of  argumentative  missiles  ; 
a  volcanic  explosion  in  the  midst  of  the  religious  element,  and  a 
generally  accepted  electric  battery,  from  which  a  thousand  posi- 
tive forces  penetrate  the  citadels  of  bigotry  and  ignorance. 
There  is  but  one  Judge  Goodrich.  John  Randolph  is  dead ; 
Goodrich  still  lives.  No  man  in  the  State  has  such  a  striking 
individuality  as  Goodrich,  and  no  man  is  more  generally  correct 
in  his  conclusions  than  Goodrich.  He  is  eminently  indepen- 
dent ;  never  trims  or  uses  policy,  and  though  his  utterances  are 
sometimes  unpalatable,  yet  they  command  attention  by  their 
originality.  He  made  a  good,  sound  judge,  though  he  would, 
occasionally,  interpret  the  law  sandwiched  with  a  funny  story  ;  is 
an  effective  political  speaker  on  the  stump  ;  an  excellent  writer^ 
as  his  book  shows  ;  a  good  lawyer ;  a  scholar  among  the  pyra- 
mids ;  a  hater  of  cant,  hypocrisy  and  meanness  ;  a  lover  of  honest 
thought  and  honest  expression.  With  all  his  idiosyncrasies  he 
has  a  kind  heart,  is  esteemed  by  his  former  associates,  and  though 
not  now  in  active  public  life,  yet  is  very  kindly  remembered  by 
the  *'  old  guard  who  continue  to  hold  the  fort."  The  Judge  is 
now  in  his  seventy-ninth  year,  yet  he  is  still  active,  and  as  ready 
for  an  argument  or  a  story,  as  he  was  twenty  years  ago. 

The  following  is  a  good  illustration  of  the  character  of  the 
man,  which  appeared  in  one  of  our  daily  papers  : 

146  PEN  PICTlliES 

"The  other  day  an  acquaintance  approached  the  Judge  with  the  remark, 
'Judge,  if  you  were  made  supremo  ruler  of  the  universe,  what  would  you  do?' 
'I'd  resign  immediately,  I  would,  by  gad,  sir;  I'm  not  hankering  after  any 
more  responsibility  than  I  am  compelled  to  bear.'" 


Mr.  Masterson  was  a  peculiar  citizen,  somewhat  different 
from  ordinary  men  in  this  particular,  that  he  spent  a  life-time 
in  helpinj^  others  and  getting  little  or  nothing  in  return.  While 
he  may  have  had  an  appreciation  of  money,  yet  he  had  no  ca- 
pacity to  accumulate  it.  He  was  born  in  New  York  in  1824; 
studied  law  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849  with  now  Judge  Orlanda 
Simons.  Both  these  men  were  carpenters  by  trade,  and  before 
arri\'ing  in  St.  Paul  made  a  solemn  vow  to  stand  or  fall  together,, 
and  though  not  related,  the)'  were  closely  bound  to  each  other 
by  the  strongest  ties  of  friendship.  They  came  from  New  York  to- 
Chicago  by  water,  and  hired  a  farmer  to  transport  their  baggage 
to  the  Mississippi  river,  it  being  stipulated  "  that  when  the  walking 
was  good  they  might  ride  ;  when  it  was  bad  they  must  walk."  On 
arriving  at  St.  Paul,  Judge  Simons  went  to  work  as  a  carpenter, 
\\-hile  Masterson  entered  a  saw  mill  at  St.  Anthony  Falls,  but 
soon  after  Simons  was  tendered  a  situation  by  the  government 
to  aid  in  building  a  fort  on  the  frontier,  but  he  would  not  accept 
the  offer  unless  Masterson  was  also  employed.  Masterson  was 
soon  engaged,  and  the  two  spent  the  summer  and  the  fall  on  the 
frontier,  returning  on  the  cdy;;c  of  winter  with  plenty  of  money,, 
and  then  opening  the  law  office  of  Masterson  &  Sinu)ns,  which 
continued  in  this  city  for  over  twenty-five  years. 

as  a  man. 

Masterson  was  a  tall,  robust-looking  man,  and  was  good  for 
twenty  years  had  he  not  been  overtaken  by  the  terrible  accident 
which  ended  his  career.  He  was  social  in  his  nature ;  full  of 
reminiscences  of  the  past,  and  a  devoted  friend.  He  was  a  pro- 
found lawyer,  delvnng  deeper  into  the  law  than  others,  and  in  one 
instance  forcing  the  Supreme  Court  to  rc\ersc  its  own  decision 
against  hinL  During  all  the  time  he  li\'cd  in  St.  Paul  he  nev^er 
held  an  office ;  always  gave  way  to  some  one  else ;  so  he  spent 
his  life  giving  to  others  ;  seemed  to  live  for  others  more  than  for 
himself,  and  thus  he  continued  until  the  da}'  of  his  death. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  147 


I  often  saw  him  wandering  about  the  city,  and  once  found 
him  musing  upon  the  bridge,  and  as  in  imagination  I  now  see  him 
standing  upon  that  structure,  the  touching  hnes  of  Longfellow 
come  before  me  in  all  their  beauty  and  their  vividness : 

'*  I  stood  on  the  bridge  at  midnight, 

As  the  clocks  were  striking  the  hour, 
And  tlie  moon  rose  o'er  the  city, 
Behind  the  dark  church  tower. 
i^  ^  ^  ^  ^ 

••  And  like  these  waters  rushing 
Among  the  wooden  piers, 
A  flood  of  thoughts  came  o'er  me 
That  tilled  my  e3'es  with  tears. 

*'  How  often,  oh,  how  often, 

In  the  days  that  had  gone  by, 
I  stood  on  the  bridge  at  midnight. 
And  gazed  on  that  wave  and  sky. 

"  How  often,  oh,  how  often, 

I  had  wished  that  the  ebbing  tide 
Would  bear  me  away  on  its  bosom. 
O'er  the  ocean  wild  and  wide : 

"  For  my  heart  was  hot  and  restless, 
And  my  life  was  full  of  care, 
And  the  burden  laid  upon  me 

Seemed  greater  than  I  could  bear." 

Then  with  the  revulsion  of  feeling  came  the  philosophical 
strain : — 

*•  But  now  it  has  fallen  from  me, 
It  is  buried  in  the  sea; 
And  only  the  sorrow  of  others 
Throws  its  shadows  over  me. 

•'  Yet  whenever  I  cross  the  river, 

With  its  bridge  with  wooden  piers. 

Like  the  odor  of  brine  from  the  ocean, 

Comes  the  thought  of  other  years ; 

"And  I  think  how  many  thousands 
Of  care-encumbered  men, 
Each  bearing  his  ])urclen  of  sorrow, 
Have  crossed  the  bridge  since  then." 

He  was  uncompromising  in  the  interests  of  his  clients ;  was 
timid  in  charging  or  collecting  his  own  fees ;  was  weak  in  the 
defense  of  himself;   was  a  close  student  among  the  "  musty  vol- 


umes  "  in  search  of  precedents  ;  was  exceeding!}'  fond  of  music  ; 
was  charitable ;  defended  others  when  it  was  unpopular  to  do  so ; 
never  spoke  ill  of  a  single  person  ;  had  no  business  faculty  ;  never 
disputed  a  bill ;  always  paid  when  he  had  money.  Elated  with 
the  idea  of  a  $500  fee,  he  pondered  over  the  case  he  had  in  hand, 
and  while  walking  on  the  railroad  track  in  a  fit  of  abstraction, 
was  struck  by  the  huge  engine  and  received  injuries  from  which 
he  died.  Just  before  the  great  change  took  place,  Judge  Simons, 
his  old  friend,  sat  at  his  bedside  with  his  hand  clasped  in  his,  thus 
fulfilling  the  mutual  vow  the  friends  had  taken  years  before. 
George  J.  Flint,  Esq.,  who  was  in  the  same  office  with  Mr.  Mas- 
terson  for  several  years,  writes : 

"I  was  the  last  business  man  he  spoke  to  before  he  received  tlie  injury 
which  caused  Iiis  deatli.  He  was  more  cheerful  than  I  had  seen  him  in  a  long 
time  because  of  his  brightening  prospects.  I  was  with  him  at  his  death  and 
trulv  mourned  him  as  a  good  man  gone." 

And  thus — poor  Masterson !  "  Life's  fitful  fever  o'er,  he 
sleeps  well.'.' 


Judge  Simons  was  born  in  New  York  State  in    1824;  was 

educated  at  the  Elmira  and  Chester  Academies  ;  read  law,  and  in 

1849,  with  Masterson,  came  to  St.  Paul;  in   1850  was   chosen 

justice  of  the  peace  ;  in  1 854  was  elected  the  first  City  Justice ;  in 

1875   was  appointed  Associated  Judge  of    the  Common   Pleas 

Court  of  Ramsey  County,  and  in    1875   was  elected  for  seven 


Judge    Simons    acts    promptly,    decides    promptly,    moves 

promptly,  though  with  long,  measured  strides,  and  talks  promptly. 
He  possesses  a  good,  judicial  mind,  and  is  fearless  in  the  dis- 
charge of  his  duty.  He  lives  within  himself.  Has  no  faculty  to 
make  money  ;  mixes  but  little  in  society ;  gets  down  to  the  bot- 
tom of  any  question,  and  his  decisions  are  very  generally  acqui- 
esced in  as  correct.  When  a  City  Justice  he  made  the  "fur  fly," 
but  now  as  a  Judge  he  is  cool,  dignified,  courteous.  His  connec- 
tion with  Mr.  Masterson  is  set  forth  in  the  article  on  that  gentle- 
man, and  this  completes  the  Pen  Picture  of  one  of  the  oldest 
law  firms  in  the  city.  I  may  add  that  if  Judge  Simons  had  tried 
the  accused  young  man  for  murder  in  Cincinnati,  he  would  have 
been  convicted,  and  that  terrible  mob  would  have  been  averted. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3fINN.  149 


If  Judge  Goodrich  is  a  character,  as  he  surely  is,  W.  P.  Mur- 
ray is  another,  only  cast  in  a  different  mould.  From  the  time  he 
came  to  the  Territory,  inaugurating  his  advent  here  by  boiling  for 
dinner  a  tough  buzzard  two  days  for  a  wild  turkey,  up  to  the  pres- 
ent time,  he  has  been  a  character,  moving  in  various  phases  of 
life,  but  always  coming  to  the  top. 

He  was  born  in  Ohio  in  1827;  attended  the  law  school  of 
Indiana  University  ;  studied  law  and  graduated  in  1 849 ;  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  December  of  that  year,  and  now  ranks  among  the 
oldest  members  of  the  bar.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Territorial 
House  of  Representatives  in  1852  and  1853;  of  the  Council  in 
1854  and  1855;  President  of  the  House  in  1857;  President  of 
the  Constitutional  Convention  the  same  year  ;  member  of  the 
House  in  1863;  Senate  in  1866  and  1867;  House  in  1868;  Sen- 
ate in  1875  and  1876;  making  eleven  sessions  in  all  as  a  member 
of  the  Legislature.  He  was  also  a  County  Commissioner  and  a 
member  of  the  City  Council  for  a  good  many  years,  and  is  now 
and  has  been  for  a  long  time  City  Attorney.  Murray  County  is 
named  after  him.  If  Murray  and  Ramsey  were  pitted  against 
each  other,  it  would  be  hard  to  say  who  would  get  the  most 
meat  from  the  political  bone.  I  would  not  like  to  bet  on  either, 
but  as  Murray  is  an  Ohio  man  I  would  prefer  the  odds  on  him. 

as    I    SEE    HIM. 

Mr,  Murray  is  a  well-proportioned  man,  w^ith  a  good  deal  of 
a  twinkle  in  his  eye  ;  and  now  that  the  gray  is  mingling  with  the 
black,  he  is  really  a  fine  looking  gentleman.  He  is  "  quick  as 
lightning ;  "  generally  in  good  humor  ;  always  ready  with  a  story  ; 
moves  about  with  great  celerity;  rubs  his  hand  up  over  his  fore- 
head and  through  his  gray  hair ;  slaps  you  on  the  back  ;  gives  a 
hearty  laugh,  and  is  off  "  in  a  jiffy."  In  early  days  it  was  '*  Bill 
Murray,"  because  he  carried  the  boys  with  him ;  to-day  it  is  Hon. 
Wm.  P.  Murray  because  the  dignity  of  the  city  rests  upon  his 
shoulders.  His  mind  grasps  a  subject  very  quickly,  and  his 
insight  and  penetration  into  human  nature  are  very  keen.  The 
Irish  blood  in  his  veins  makes  him  quick  to  retort,  while  his 
political  sagacity  leads  him  to  act  very  sly — *'  d d  sly,  sir," — 


and  yet  he  is  popular  among  the  masses  and  plays  upon  the 
human  heart  as  a  musician  does  on  the  keys  of  a  piano.  Peri- 
cles, the  great  Athenian  orator,  convinced  a  crowd  that  his  client 
threw  his  antagonist  when  the  reverse  was  the  fact.  So  \\\\\\ 
Murray.  His  affected  sincerity  is  convincing,  and  he  wins  his 
case,  though  he  may  heartily  laugh  over  it  afterwards.  And  yet 
he  has  been  a  useful  man  to  the  public  at  large,  and  has  filled  a 
great  many  offices  of  honor  and  of  trust.  He  is  a  good  lawyer, 
a  good  talker,  a  good  speaker,  a  good  citizen  ;  full  of  energy  ;  full 
of  fun ;  a  regular  bunch  of  fire-crackers  among  his  friends  ; 
s)'mpathetic.  a  real  friend  of  the  poor,  kind-hearted,  plain,  blunt, 
smiling  ''Bill  Murray." 


Mr.  Humphrey  was  born  in  Ohio  about  1832  ;  educated  at 
the  Western  Reserve  College  ;  read  law  with  Gen.  Dwight  Jarvis  ; 
was  admitted  to  the  bar  in  1846;  studied  medicine  with  Dr. 
George  Ashmun  in  1847  ^""^^  1848;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849; 
was  appointed  Clerk  of  the  District  Court  for  Ramsey  County 
in  1849,  and  Clerk  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  Territory,  Janu- 
ary, 1850;  was  in  the  United  States  revenue  service  from  1861 
to  1876,  or  fifteen  years. 

He  is  a  man  of  strongly  marked  individuality.  He  is  very 
democratic  in  his  ideas,  and  is  very  little  affected  by  public  opin- 
ion. He  thinks  what  he  pleases,  does  what  he  pleases,  dresses 
as  he  pleases,  talks  as  he  pleases,  and  when  aroused,  is  most 
emphatic  in  his  denunciations.  He  is  very  methodical  and  delib- 
erate in  all  he  does;  is  ne\'er  in  a  hurry;  reasons  carefully; 
is  cautious,  and  gets  through  the  world  about  as  easily  as  most 
men  possibly  could.  He  is  a  man  of  ability,  and  his  speech  be- 
fore the  Chamber  of  Commerce  years  ago,  although  written,  was 
an  able  })aper.  When  in  the  revenue  department  his  decisions 
were  considered  final,  so  well  posted  was  he  in  the  revenue  bus- 
iness. He  early  purchased  some  terribly  broken  acres  of  land 
where  the  great  wheat  elevator  now  is,  on  the  line  of  the  Mani- 
toba road,  and  after  selling  them  five  or  six  times,  and  being 
obliged  to  take  them  back,  he  finall}^  made  a  sale  which  netted 
him  some  $30,000  profit;  and  if  he  had  held  on  to  the  property 
until  now,  it  would  have  made  him  $60,000,  but  in  this  world  of 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  251 

inconceivabilities,  "  we  can't  most  always  know"  what  is  best  to 
he  done,  and  sometimes  luck  is  more  potent  than  brains,  or  even 
what  is  termed  business  capacity.  Mr.  Humphrey  several  years 
ago  purchased  Northern  Pacific  common  stock  for  four  and  five 
cents  per  share,  and  it  went  up  to  sixty  and  seventy  cents  per 
share,  giving  him  a  handsome  margin.  He  is  a  tall,  slender 
man,  walks  deliberately,  with  his  head  pressed  forward,  is  quite 
•courteous  in  his  bearing,  social  in  his  nature,  and  is  an  unpre- 
tending, pleasant  gentleman. 


I  have  no  data  by  which  I  can  fix  the  year  in  which  Mr. 
Foster  was  born,  but  he  is  now  not  far  from  seventy  years  of  age, 
.and  probably  saw^  the  light  of  this  world  for  the  first  time  in  the 
State  of  Pennsylvania,  about  1815.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1849,  after  studying  and  practicing  medicine  in  the  P^ast,  and 
was  for  a  short  time  physician  to  the  Sioux  Indians.  He  also 
accompanied  Gov.  Ramsey  on  some  of  his  treaty-making  trips, 
-and  at  one  time  ran  a  small  drug  store  on  the  corner  of  Third 
and  Exchange  streets.  Some  time  about  1858  (^r  1859,  he  pur- 
chased the  interests  of  Owens  &  Moore  in  the  Daily  Mhinesotian, 
and  commenced  his  career  as  an  editor.  He  was  a  pungent, 
caustic  writer,  but  with  very  little  discretion;  believed  in  the 
-doctrine  of  "  pitching  in  "  to  everybody  personally,  and  conse- 
quently soon  lost  his  influence.  He  subordinated  everything 
^Ise  to  his  own  individual  opinion.  In  this  respect  he  was  an 
editorial  tyrant. 

A    CUTE    trick THE    JJOciUS    DISPATCHES. 

James  M.Winslow  had  opened  the  first  telegraph  office  in  St. 
Paul,  and  when  absent  a  difficulty  had  arisen  with  the  Times,  then 
edited  by  the  writer,  and  the  telegraph  operator,  concerning  the 
reception  of  some  election  returns,  and  this  difficulty  had  extended 
to  the  Minnesotian,  and  both  papers  stopped  their  telegraphic  dis- 
patches. On  the  return  of  Winslow,  Goodrich,  of  the  Pioneer, 
slipped  in  between  the  two  discontented  papers  and  secured  the 
exclusive  control  of  the  dispatches,  leaving  the  other  two  daily 
journals  out  in  the  cold. 

The  Pioneer  would  appear  first,  then  the  other  papers  would 
■copy  from  that  paper,  and  appear  simultaneously,  and  so  matters 


ran,  until  Foster  conceived  the  idea  that  he  would  get  ahead  of 
the  Times  by  bribing  a  Pioneer  pressman  to  give  him  an  advance 
copy  of  the  Pioneer,  which  was  to  be  placed  under  a  certain 
stone,  for  a  certain  consideration.  True  enough,  Foster  got  the 
paper,  put  in  the  dispatches,  and  the  Times  copied  from  Foster, 
whose  paper  had  been  circulated.  Just  as  my  paper  was  about 
to  go  to  press,  out  came  the  Pioneer  with  the  genuine  dispatches 
(only  one  copy  of  the  bogus  dispatches  having  been  printed  for 
Foster's  benefit,)  announcing  the  trick,  and  I  then  whipped  into 
my  office,  had  the  genuine  dispatches  set  up  from  the  Pioneer, 
called  the  readers'  attention  to  the  bogus  affair,  which  I  published 
along  side  the  genuine,  as  a  clear  indication  of  my  superior  enter- 
prise, and  ended  by  crowing  loudly  over  the  fact  of  my  unim- 
peachable sagacity  in  not  being  duped  !  I  knew  better !  of  course 
I  did!  Foster  was  the  victim,  but  I  escaped  just  "  by  the  skin  of 
my  teeth  !  " — as  the  boys  say — "  you  bet !  "  Of  course  the  Pioneer 
grinned  and  Foster  growled — **  Sold,  sold." 

A    BIT    OF    HISTORY. 

Soon  after  this  the  leading  Republicans  of  the  State  got  to- 
gether and  signified  their  desire  that  the  two  Republican  papers — 
the  Times  and  the  Minnesotian — should  unite,  and  if  this  thing 
could  be  done  the  paper  thus  united  should  have  the  public  print- 
ing. After  several  meetings  it  was  agreed  that  the  consolidated 
concern  should  be  the  Minnesotian  and  the  Times,  with  the  firm 
name  of  Newson,  Moore,  Foster  &  Co.,  and  under  this  arrange- 
ment Newson  and  Foster  were  to  have  equal  powers  as  editors, 
one  not  to  interfere  with  the  editorials  of  the  others.  It  was  also 
understood  that  the  paper  should  sustain  the  action  of  the  party 
in  the  Legislature,  and  not  dictate  to  them,  as  had  been  Foster's 
habit ;  so  I  wrote  a  leading  editorial  to  this  effect,  and  went  home, 
then  living  at  Lake  Como.  Foster,  in  the  meantime,  garbled  this- 
editorial  and  added  to  it,  telling  the  Republican  members  what 
they  should  and  what  they  should  not  do,  and  thus  it  w  as  printed 
unknown  to  the  writer.  Of  course  the  next  morning  the  Repub- 
licans were  indignant ;  a  coalition  was  made  against  the  paper,. 
O.  Brown,  of  Faribault,  was  elected  printer,  and  the  next  da}'  I 
summarily  dissolved  the  partnership,  and  ran  tlie  Tzw^i"  separately 
thereafter,  until  it  was  leased  to  William  R.  ALarshall,  and  soon' 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINA.  15S 

after  the  Minncsotian  died  a  natural  death.  This  Httle  bit  of  his- 
tory tells  the  character  of  Foster  as  an  editor  and  a  man,  better 
than  a  volume  possibly  could. 


With  the  remnant  of  the  wreck  of  the  Minnesotian  office. 
Foster  removed  to  Duluth  and  revived  his  old  paper,  which  he 
ran  for  a  short  time,  secured  some  property  there,  sold  it,  started 
a  mill  in  Virginia,  became  divorced  from  his  first  wife,  married 
again,  was  in  an  office  in  the  department  at  Washington,  and  is 
now  somewhere  down  South,  I  believe,  editing  a  paper.  He  had 
some  social  qualities,  but  was  a  positive,  arbitrary  character, 
which  proved  more  an  injury  to  himself  than  to  others. 

Here  I  am  again,  harping  on  1849,  but  I  can't  help  it;  peo- 
ple would  come  to  the  city  that  year,  and  I  must  entertain  them, 
even  if  I  do  exhaust  the  patience  of  some  others  who  want  to 
jump  into  the  '50's. 


Mr,  Rice  was  born  in  Vermont  in  1819;  removed  to  Michi- 
gan in  1838;  studied  law  and  was  admitted  to  practice  in  1842  ; 
was  Master  in  Chancery,  Register  of  the  Court  of  Chancery  for  the 
third  circuit,  and  clerk  of  the  Supreme  Court  of  the  State  ;  served 
in  the  Mexican  war  in  1848  ;  settled  in  St.  Paul  in  1849;  was  a 
member  of  the  law  firm  of  Rice,  HoUinshead  &  Becker ;  left 
this  firm  in  1855  ;  became  the  president  of  the  Minnesota  &  Pa- 
cific Railroad  Company  in  1857  ;  3.1  so  president  of  its  successors, 
the  St.  Paul  and  Pacific,  and  the  St.  Paul  and  Chicago,  until 
1872  ;  made  several  trips  to  Europe  in  the  interest  of  these  com- 
panies, and  may  very  properly  be  denominated  the  father^  of  the 
railway  system  of  Minnesota.  Even  before  these  roads  were 
thought  of,  he  took  great  interest  in  a  projected  road  called  the 
Northwestern,  but  which  failed  to  get  a  recognition  by  Congress 
in  consequence  of  "  skullduggery  "  which  was  used  in  passing 
the  bill.  Indeed  I  may  say  he  became  a  railroad  man  immediately 
after  giving  up  the  practice  of  law,  and  continued  in  this  line  of 
business  over  a  quarter  of  a  century.  He  was  a  member  of  the 
Legislature  in  i85i-'67-'72-'77-'78 ;  of  the  State  Senate  in 
i864-5-'73-4 ;  Mayor  of  the  city  of  St.  Paul;  at  one  time 
County  Commissioner ;    Democratic   candidate  for  Governor  in 


1879;  Mayor  of  St.  Paul  in  1885,  second  time;  and  has  filled 
various  other  posts  of  honor  and  of  trust.  He  is  a  man  w  hose 
name  has  been  as  closely  indentified  with  the  material  interests 
of  St.  Paul  as  an}'  person  dead  or  li\in<^.  He  slipped  out  of 
law  into  railroading  as  easily  as  a  locomotive  can  go  down  hill 
without  brakes,  and  through  the  money  of  a  railroad  company 
he  has  at  last  secured  a  competency  to  sustain  himself  and  family 
in  their  declining  years.  The  great  poet  well  said — "  All's  well 
that  ends  well,"  and  Mr.  Rice  can  verify  the  correctness  of  the 
expression  in  his  own  individual   history. 


Mr.  Rice,  in  connection  with  Mr.  Becker,  secured  some  320 
acres  of  land,  (Mr.  Rice  having  one-half  of  it,)  I  think,  of  Phelan, 
away  back  in  1849  or  1850,  at  a  cost  of  about  ^400  in  gold,  and 
upon  these  one  hundred  and  sixty  acres  he  erected  a  large  and 
handsome  house,  and  here  is  where  most  of  his  family  where  born, 
and  here,  in  this  beautiful  and  romantic  spot  is  were  they  spent 
their  early  years.  Part  of  the  ground  was  finally  laid  off  into 
lots  and  sold,  and  the  balance  was  disposed  of  to  the  Northern 
Pacific  Railroad  Company  about  one  year  ago,  for  $250,000,  so 
out  of  this  and  the  sale  of  lots,  Mr.  Rice  realized  for  this  prop- 
erty the  fine  sum  of  about  $399,600.  It  is  a  little  remarkable 
that  having  spent  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  in  railroad  matters, 
during  which  time  he  became  involved,  that  a  railroad  compan}' 
should  at  last  purchase  his  property  and  thereby  put  him  finan- 
cially upon  his  feet,  a  fact  quite  as  interesting  to  the  public  as  it 
is  to  his  family,  or  to  his  intimate  friends. 


A  large,  commanding  figure  and  a  courtly  bearing,  pleasant 
smiles  and  most  affable  ways,  an  unaffected  dignity  and  a  calm 
repose,  mark  the  peculiar  characteristics  of  Edmund  Rice. 
Coupled  with  these  may  be  added  a  most  generous  nature  and  a 
kind  heart,  with  a  sociability  that  would  lull  to  rest  even  the 
irritable  temper  of  Bismarck,  and  I  have  in  the  subject  of  my 
sketch  elements  which  combined  make  him  one  of  the  most 
popular  men  in  the  Northwest.  His  very  presence  commands 
respect,  and  if  that  should  fail,  his  good  nature  will   always  win 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MI XX.  ir>5 

an  avenue  to  the  better  parts  of  the  human  heart.  Mr.  Rice's  Hfe 
has  not  been  one  of  sunshine  and  of  pleasure,  but  it  has  been  one 
of  battle — a  constant  strugLile  for  supremacy ;  and  his  patience, 
and  hopefulness,  and  untirini^  efforts  durin^^  all  these  lon<;'  years  ; 
his  perseverance ;  his  devotion  ;  his  unruffled  philosophy ;  his 
calmness ;  his  fidelity  to  his  friends,  and  his  unyielding  faith  in  a 
better  day  coming,  haxe  won  for  liim  the  crowning  glory  of  a 
true,  a  heroic  and  an  honest  man.  The  sublime  imperturbability 
with  which  he  has  met  reverses  in  the  past,  and  the  equally  sub- 
lime unaffected  simplicity  with  which  he  greeted  prosperity  when 
it  came,  only  show  the  peculiar  metal  of  which  the  man  is  made, 
and  give  us  the  key  to  a  character  which  would  adorn  the  pages 
of  Roman  history.  And  yet  Mr.  Rice  has  plucked  the  flowers 
by  the  way-side  as  he  passed  the  mile-stones  of  manhood  and  of 
middle-age — in  a  word — "  as  he  journeyed  through  life  he  has 
lived  by  the  way" — not  ostentatiously,  but  placidly,  calmly,  con- 
tentedly, and  thus,  in  old  age,  mellowed  b)'  the  cares  and  trials 
of  an  active  career  and  sustained  by  a  respectable  bank  account, 
he  ought  to  reach  the  end  of  his  journey,  as  no  doubt  he  will, 
the  personification  of  a  genial,  gentle,  loving  patriarch,  perhaps 
the  last  of  the  old  settlers  wandering  amid  the  graves  of  his 
friends,  the  best  and  noblest  of  them  all. 


Mr.  Becker  was  born  in  New  York  in  1829;  removed  to 
Michigan  in  1841  ;  was  educated  at  the  University  of  Michigan 
in  1842;  graduated  in  1846;  studied  law  with  George  Sedgwick 
up  to  1 849,  when  he  emigrated  to  St.  Paul  ;  formed  a  copartner- 
ship with  Edmund  Rice  and  a  man  by  the  name  of  Whithall, 
and  about  a  year  after  the  firm  became  Rice,  Hollinshead  & 
]^ecker,  and  continued  in  successful  practice  up  to  1855,  when 
Mr,  Rice  retired,  and  the  business  was  run  by  Hollinshead  & 
Becker  a  year  longer,  when  Mr.  Becker  withdrew.  In  1857  he 
was  elected  one  of  three  members  of  Congress  from  this  State, 
but  the  lack  of  population  prevented  him  from  taking  his  seat, 
the  State  being  entitled  to  only  two  members,  when  he  promptly  re- 
signed, giving  the  position  to  somebody  else.  He  was  appointed 
Land  Commissioner  of  the  St.  Paul  &  Pacific  Railroad  in  1862; 
was  elected  president  of  the  same  road  in  1 864 ;  held  the  posi- 

15  6  PEN  PICT  UBES 

tion  for  about  twelve  years;  built  some  317  miles  of  road;  en- 
listed foreign  capital ;  aided  in  developing  a  wilderness  country ; 
in  1854  was  elected  an  Alderman  of  the  city;  in  1856  was 
elected  Mayor;  was  chosen  to  the  Democratic  Constitutional 
Conv^ention  in  1857;  was  nominated  for  Governor  on  the  Demo- 
cratic ticket  in  1859;  in  1867  was  elected  to  the  Senate  from 
Ramsey  County;  re-elected  in  1869;  nominated  for  Congress 
in  1872,  but  defeeited ;  has  been  president  of  the  Western 
Railroad  Company,  and  engaged  at  one  time  somewhat  in  farm- 
ing in  Brown's  Valley,  where  he  has  some  considerable  property. 
Years  ago  he  traded  some  lots  at  Superior  City  for  the  residence 
of  John  I.  Warren,  across  Trout  Brook,  and  subsequentl)'  tore 
down  this  building  and  erected  a  large  and  handsome  mansion, 
where  he  now  resides. 


Mr.  Becker  is  an  ordinarily  sized  man,  with  rather  mobile 
features,  and  is  somewhat  retiring  in  his  disposition.  He  is  a  pleas- 
antly spoken  gentleman  ;  domestic  in  his  tastes,  and  moves  along 
in  his-every  day  duties  quietly  and  methodically.  While  presi- 
dent of  the  Pacific  Railroad  Company  he  was  untiring  in  his 
efforts  to  make  the  company's  affairs  a  success,  and  did  much 
toward  the  development  of  what  is  now  known  to  be  one  of  the 
best  portions  of  Minnesota.  He  is  interested  as  a  citizen  in  mat- 
ters which  concern  the  common  good,  and  has  always  thrown 
the  weight  of  his  influence  in  the  scale  of  good  order,  sobriety 
and  law.  He  is  popular  with  the  masses,  as  the  various  offices 
he  has  held  clearly  show  ;  and  while  he  has  not  been  much  before 
the  public  of  late  years,  yet  he  is  held  in  high  esteem  as  a  worthy 
citizen.    He  is  at  present  a  member  of  the  Railroad  Commission. 


Mr.  Hollinshead  was  born  in  Philadelphia  about  1835  5  stud- 
ied and  practiced  law  in  that  city ;  was  a  member  of  the  Legisla- 
ture of  that  State ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849  J  connected  himself 
with  Messrs.  Rice  and  Becker  in  the  law  firm  of  Rice,  Hollins- 
head &  Becker,  which  in  its  business  was  one  of  the  largest  law 
firms  in  the  West;   continued  in  this  firm   up  to  the  time  of  its 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN,  1; 

o  i 

dissolution,  and  died  at  the  age  of  thirt)'-nine  years.  Mr.  Hol- 
linshead's  second  wife  was  Miss  Rice,  sister  of  Henry  M.  and 
Edmund  Rice,  and  is  still  living. 

He  was  a  clear-cut  lawyer,  and  among  the  best  that  practiced 
at  the  bar.  He  made  law  his  specialty,  and  what  he  knew  he 
knew  "well.  His  cases  were  prepared  with  great  care,  and  his 
papers  were  scrupulously  neat  and  clean.  He  was  also  an  excel- 
lent speaker,  and  it  is  said  of  him  by  a  gentleman  who  lost  his 
case  when  Hollinshead  was  his  opponent — '' D n  that  fel- 
low! he  just  came  up  before  the  jury,  threw  back  his  head, 
opened  his  mouth,  and  in  ten  minutes  he  had  the  twelve  men  by 
the  ears.  I  knew  I  should  lose  my  case  when  I  saw  him  enter 
the  court  room,  and  I  did." 

He  used  clean  English  terms  and  conveyed  his  meaning  in 
a  very  direct  way.  He  was  also  a  good  writer.  I  remember  an 
article  written  by  him  in  defense  of  the  old  $5,000,000  railroad 
bond  bill,  which  was  published  in  the  Times,  and  it  was  a  masterly 
piece  of  argument  and  sarcasm.  It  is  generally  conceded  by  all 
the  old  lawyers  who  knew  Mr.  Hollinshead,  that  he  was  an  able 
man  at  the  bar  in  his  day,  and  had  he  lived  he  would  have  been 
the  ablest  lawyer  of  to-day,  simply  because  he  gave  up  all  his 
time  and  his  talents  to  the  profession,  and  in  it  he  excelled.  I 
belie\  e  he  never  held  any  office,  except  as  above. 


He  was  a  large,  bulky  man,  with  a  florid  complexion,  and 
possessed  great  energy,  and  resembled  somewhat  John  Mathies. 
He  came  down  the  street  like  a  cyclone,  and  when  he  appeared 
before  a  jury  he  overawed  weak  men  by  his  impressive  personal- 
ity. He  spoke  right  at  his  case,  not  round  it,  or  over  it,  but 
pierced  it  with  his  argum.ents  and  throttled  it  with  his  vehemence. 
He  was  more  like  a  lion  shaking  his  shaggy  locks  at  his  enemy, 
than  an  ordinary  man,  and  when  Michael  E.  Ames  appeared  as 
the  counsel  on  the  opposing  side,  the  contrast  was  striking,  as 
Ames  was  a  perfect  Chesterfield  in  manners,  slender  in  person, 
and  as  gentle  as  a  lamb.  Hollinshead  was  a  social  man ;  liked 
good  company,  and  after  he  had  won  his  case,  nobody  enjoyed 
a  pleasant  "  sit-down  "  better  than  he.  He  died  in  the  full  vigor 
of  manhood. 


A.  R.  FRENCH — WHAT    HE    LOST. 

Mr.  French  must  have  been  born  somewhere  in  the  year 
1810.  In  early  hfe  he  was  a  soldier  in  the  Mexican  war  ;  was  at 
Fort  Snelling;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849;  opened  the  first  auc- 
tion store  on  Third  street,  near  Jackson ;  ran  a  ferry-boat ;  lived 
for  several  years  in  West  St.  Paul,  and  was  an  active,  stirring 
man.  He  was  at  one  time  with  PVank  Collins,  another  noted 
auctioneer  in  his  day,  who  is  now  dead.  PVench  drifted  to  Wash- 
ington, where  he  secured  a  situation,  and  where  he  now  lives  in 
pleasant,  comfortable  circumstances.  He  was  an  energetic,  pleas- 
ant   man,  and  among  the  old  settlers  is  very  kindly  remembered. 

French  made  a  claim  in  early  days  near  Merriam  Park  ; 
then  he  made  a  claim  of  160  acres  near  St.  Paul,  now  Elfelt  and 
Bernheimer's  addition,  for  which  Mr.  Elfelt  paid  him  32.50  per 
acre ;  now  worth  $6,000  per  acre.  Original  sum  paid  French 
for  the  160  acres,  $400.  Property  now  worth  $960,000.  French's 
loss  in  not  holding  on,  3959,6oo.  Of  course  these  are  small 
items  to  old  settlers,  and  the  loss  of  $1,000,000  does  not  disturb 
their  equilibrium,  but  then  it  is  a  matter  of  history,  and  as  such 
I  record  it.  What  might  have  been  and  what  is,  are  two  dis- 
tinct propositions.  What  is  and  what  may  be,  are  matters  for 
the  consideration  of  those  who  live  to-day.  Will  they  be  wiser 
than  the  old  settlers  of  1 849  ?     Let  us  wait  and  see. 

"  don't  dream  again  !  " 

We  are  all  dreaming.  Some  of  pleasure;  some  of  fame; 
some  of  money.  We  can't  live  without  dreaming.  The  mind 
must  first  conceive  the  ideal  before  the  material  is  born.  Every- 
thing invisible  has  a  tangibility,  and  everything  tangible  has  an 
invisibility.     Shakspeare  says : 

"We  are  such  stuff  as  dreams  are  made  of, 
And  our  little  lives  are  rounded  with  a  sleep." 

Shakspeare  was  right.  We  are  all  bundles  of  dreams  ;  of 
thought-projectors ;  of  idealities  ;  without  which  we  could  not 
exist ;  and  then  after  all — 

"Our  little  lives  are  rounded  with  n  sleep." 

Thirt)'-six  years  ago  an  old  Indian  chief,  residing  near  St. 
Paul,  owned  some  forty  acres  of  land,  which  were  as  even  and 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MIXX.  7o9 

as  beautiful  as  ever  lay  out  doors.  This  chief  was  in  the  habit 
of  visiting  his  Kersmokerman  nechee,  or  white  man  friend,  and 
this  friend  had  a  military  coat,  with  its  blue  cloth,  glittering  but- 
tons, gold  trimmings  and  gaudy  epaulettes,  which  the  chief 
grealy  admired.  One  morning,  after  having  spent  the  night 
with  the  old  forty-niner,  the  chief  addressed  him  about  as  follows 
—  "  Me  dream  !  me  see  coat !  me  like  coat !  Me  see  white  man 
give  one  Indian  coat!     Ho  !  " 

The  old  settler  paused  for  a  moment,  walked  across  the 
room,  took  down  the  coat,  handed  it  to  the  chief,  and  remarked 
— "  I  dislike  very  much  to  part  with  this  old  friend  of  my  bet- 
ter days,  but  the  coat  is  yours."  **  Ho  !  Ho!  "  ejaculated  the 
chief  and  with  an  earnest  request  for  his  white  friend  to  come  and 
see  him  in  his  tepee,  he  walked  off  with  all  the  dignit}^  of  a  mili- 
tary hero,  with  the  coat,  of  course,  upon  his  back.  A  short 
time  after  this  the  old  settler  of  1849,  well  known  in  this  city, 
spent  a  night  with  the  chief,  and  in  the  morning  he  told  the  In- 
dian that  he  also  had  a  dream,  and  in  response  to  the  question 
"  What  ?  "  he  replied — "  Kersmokerman  dreamed  that  one  Indian 
gave  nechee  big  heap  land,"  pointing  to  the  forty  acres  which 
could  be  seen  from  the  tepee  door.  The  chief  gave  several  ex- 
tra w^hiffs  to  his  pipe,  crossed  his  legs,  dropped  his  blanket,  stood 
erect  with  a  self-satisfied  air  that  he  had  been  beaten,  and  ex- 
claimed— "  Nechee  Kersmokerman  shall  have  big  heap  land, 
but  —  "  (pointing  his  finger  at  his  friend  in  a  most  impressive  and 
almost  supplicating  manner)  —  "Kersmokerman,  white  man, 
don't  dream  a^ain." 


D.  A.  J.  BAKER. 

Even  old  settlers  will  be  a  little  surprised  to  learn  that  our 
genial  and  familiar  Judge  Baker  taught  one  of  the  first  public 
schools  in  the  Territory  of  Minnesota,  and  yet  history  records 
this  fact,  or  at  least  it  ought  to.  Mr.  Baker  was  born  in  Maine, 
in  1825  ;  educated  in  his  native  state;  studied  law  ;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1849;  taught  school  as  above,  which  was  composed  of 
103  scholars ;  practiced  law  in  this  city  for  three  years  ;  in  com- 
pany with  others  pre-empted  the  land  and  located  what  is  now 
Superior  City  in  Wisconsin  ;  in  six  months  thereafter  sold  his 
interest  in  that  place  for  $80,000  in  gold  ;   was   appointed  Judge 


b}'  the  Governor  of  Wisconsin  ;  held  his  commission  about  three 
years ;  was  County  Superintendent  of  Schools  for  ten  years  ; 
was  a  member  of  the  committee  that  framed  the  Constitution  of 
this  State ;  about  1 867  removed  to  Rose  township ;  built  on  his 
farm  the  largest  and  finest  green-house  in  the  Northwest,  occu- 
pied important  positions  in  the  town,  such  as  chairman  of  Super- 
visors, County  Superintendent  of  Schools,  etc.,  etc.,  and  has 
always  been  deeply  interested  in  politics  from  his  peculiar  Dem- 
ocratic stand-point.  He  married  Miss  C.  C.  Kneland,  to  whom 
he  was  devotedly  attached,  who  died  in  1875.  He  formerly 
owned  and  lived  in  the  double  house  which  is  nearly  in  the  center 
of  what  is  now  known  as  Merriam  Park,  a  thriving  settlement 
about  two  miles  from  the  city.  He  then  purchased  the  old  Hab- 
good  place,  some  two  miles  above  Merriam,  and  here  he  formerly 
devoted  a  great  deal  of  his  time  in  cultivating  and  adorning  his 
place,  and  in  raising  elegant  flowers,  in  which  he  was  ably  assisted 
by  his  wife. 


Mr.  Baker's  long  residence  in  this  city,  and  his  constant 
association  with  its  interests  after  his  removal  to  Rose  township, 
entitle  him  to  recognition  as  an  old  settler,  and  as  such  he  is 
very  generally  known.  He  is  a  large  man  ;  moderate  in  gait  and 
moderate  in  speech  ;  very  decided  in  his  opinions  ;  bold  and  dar- 
ing in  his  attacks,  when  he  makes  them  ;  loves  to  dispute  legal 
points,  and  is  rather  fascinated  with  the  law  and  its  mysteries  ; 
is  a  man  of  courage  ;  of  force  of  character,  and  had  he  struck  a 
different  groove  when  he  started  out  in  life,  he  might  have  been 
something  far  different  from  what  he  now  is — simply  Judge  Baker. 
When  he  fights,  he  fights — I  mean  of  course  figuratively — when, 
he  loves,  he  loves.  He  is  a  man  of  strong  mental  charactericities, 
crushing  down  all  opposition  in  his  course,  and  yet  he  yields  to 
argument  and  gives  way  under  the  pressure  of  facts.  He  is  warm- 
hearted, generous,  tender  in  his  affections,  a  devoted  friend  and  a 
more  loving  husband  never  lived. 

WHLSKY    vs.  THE    BARN. 

Judge  Baker's  place  on  the  old  St.  Anthony  road  to  w  hich  I 
have  already  alluded,  became  involved  in  debt,  and  he  finally  had 
to  leave  it.     On   the  opposite  side  of  the  street  was  an   elegant 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  161 

barn,  and  the  Judge  was  bound  to  save  it  from  the  legal  meshes 
of  the  law,  so  just  before  the  time  expired  carrying  it  out  of  his 
possession,  it  is  reported  that  he  hired  a  large  number  of  men  on 
Sunday,  and  set  them  to  work  removing  the  barn  off  the  premises 
into  a  street,  and  under  the  stimulating  effects  of  ardent  spirits, 
the  huge  structure  groaned  and  twisted,  and  finally  was  landed 
safely  on  the  public  thoroughfare.  Of  course  papers  enjoining 
him  were  gotten  out,  but  could  not  be  served  because  it  was  Sun- 
day. Indeed  the  barn  was  removed  before  scarcely  anybody  in 
the  city  knew  anything  about  it.  I  have  been  told  by  physicians, 
and  of  course  they  ought  to  know  from  their  own  personal  ex- 
perience, that  in  case  of  sickness,  whisky  given  to  patients  will 
stimulate  them,  but  it  is  the  first  time  to  my  knowledge,  when 
whisky  given  to  a  huge  barn  would  stimulate  it  sufficiently  to 
enable  it  to  get  up  and  walk  off  of  another  man's  premises  and 
settle  down  into  the  public  highway !  And  yet  when  the  case  was 
tried  the  judge  alleged  that  this  was  the  fact,  and  as  the  barn  was 
a  free-moral  agent  and  not  in  favor  of  high  license  and  moved 
itself,  nobody  could  be  convicted  of  doing  wrong. 


As  I  remember  her,  was  a  tall,  graceful,  fascinating  woman, 
lovely  in  her  nature  and  charming  in  her  manners. 

*'  None  knew  her  but  to  love  her, 
Nor  loved  her  but  to  praise." 

She  was  an  affectionate  wife  and  a  devoted  mother,  and  amid 
all  the  trials  and  vicissitudes  incident  to  the  ups  and  downs  of  an 
old  settler's  career,  she  never  murmured,  never  complained,  never 
fretted,  never  chided ;  always  cheerful,  always  hopeful,  casting 
sunshine  into  the  home,  and  weaving  about  those  she  loved, 
golden  chains  of  unbroken  affection. 

**  Home's  not  merely  four  square  walls. 

Though  with  pictures  hung  and  gilded; 
Home  is  where  affection  calls, 

Filled  with  shrines  the  heart  has  shielded. 
Home  !  go  watch  the  faithful  dove 

Sailing  'neath  the  heaven  above  us — 
Home  is  where  there's  one  to  love. 

Home  is  where  there's  one  to  love  us." 



The  vacant  chair ;  the  hushed  voice ;  the  quietness  which 
broods  over  the  household,  all  tell  us  that  the  gentle  woman^ 
the  affectionate  mother,  the  tender  wife,  the  pleasant  friend,  has 
passed  into  another  life,  higher,  better,  nobler  than  this ;  and  if 
it  be  true,  as  the  Indians  allege,  that  the  spirits  of  the  dead  are 
connected  with  the  living  by  unseen  silver  cords,  then  Mrs.  Baker 
will  draw  up  after  her  all  those  she  loved  so  fondly  here. 


"  In  the  background  is  delineated  a  plain  ;  in  the  distance 
are  seen  the  last  rays  of  the  setting  sun  ;  nearer  are  seen  Indian 
hunters,  their  lodges,  women  and  children,  and  a  herd  of  buffalo.*' 


"  Prominent  in  the  foreground  stands  an  aged  man  with  sil- 
vered hair ;  he  leans  upon  a  staff;  he  is  in  the  midst  of  a  ceme- 
tery ;  the  spire  of  a  church  is  seen  in  the  distance.  As  he  turns 
from  a  survey  of  the  various  monuments  which  mark  the  resting 
place  of  departed  old  settlers,  his  eye  rests  upon  a  new-made 
grave.  It  is  that  of  his  late  associate  ;  he  is  the  last  survivor  ; 
his  companions  have  fallen  asleep.  It  is  1900.  A  group  of 
children  in  the  foreground  represent  the  rising  generation  of  Min- 
nesota, which  shall  reap  the  fruits  of  the  *  pioneer's  toil.'  " 

There  is  something  very  impressive  about  this  seal,  and 
especially  the  future,  as  delineated  in  the  aged  man  who  wanders 
among  the  graves  of  his  dead  companions,  the  last  of  them  all. 
Old  settlers  are  not  unmindful  of  the  suggestive  warning  this 
picture  presents. 


Mounting  the  top  of  a  stage  at  the  old  American  House, 
(the  inside  of  said  vehicle  being  crowded  with  passengers,)  I 
snuffed  the  free,  fresh  air  of  the  early  morning,  and  as  the  driver 
cracked  his  whip  and  the  noble  animals  sped  on  their  way,  we 
rolled  up  the  hill  at  the  end  of  Third  street  and  were  soon  on  the 
old  road  which  led  to  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony.  What  a  delightful, 
invigorating  ride  that  was  on  the  top  of  that  stage  !  How  rapidly 
the  horses  moved  over  the  ground  !  How  the  dust  flew  !  How  the 
heart  became  exhilarated  !  How  the  passengers  laughed,  and  sang, 
and  joked  !   How  the  birds  twittered  !    How  the  squirrels  chirped ! 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN,  163 

We  were  going  out  of  the  great,  bustling  city  of  St.  Paul,  with 
its  i,ooo  inhabitants,  into  the  free  air  of  the  country  !  And  wasn't 
it  glorious  ?  Of  course  it  was.  The  old  stage  since  then  has 
been  pushed  out  on  to  the  frontier,  and  I  see  it  only  occasionally 
in  pictures,  but  I  never  can  forget  the  good  times  I  once  had 
in  the  past,  inside  its  cozy  walls.  But  stop  a  minute!  Look 
over  to  the  right !  See  that  white  house  with  green  blinds,  that 
large  barn,  with  the  figure  of  a  rooster  on  the  top,  that  lovely 
garden  stretching  down  to  the  road,  those  waving  fields  of  grain, 
in  the  midst  of  which  is  the  elegant  home  of  the  thrifty  farmer ! 
What  a  charming  scene  !  "  Driver !  I  stop  here."  I  dismount. 
I  wind  up  the  long  lane  amid  a  row  of  beautiful  trees  ;  I  pause 
on  the  edge  of  a  green  lawn ;  I  step  upon  the  portico ;  I  enter 
the  house ;  I  turn  back  a  moment  and  gaze  with  admiration  on 
the  scene  before  me ;  I  re-enter  ;  so  home-like,  so  neat,  so  pleas- 
ant, so  harmonious,  so  loving — the  quiet  abode  of  E.  N.  Larpen- 
teur,  now  a  thing  of  the  past,  gone  forever,  and  with  it  the  old 
owner  who  sleeps  the  sleep  that  knows  no  waking.  Every  old 
settler  of  St.  Paul  will  recognize  this  picture ;  every  lover  of 
nature,  of  beauty,  of  neatness,  of  taste,  of  industry,  of  quietness, 
of  repose,  of  independence,  will  recur  to  the  thrifty  and  beautiful 
farm-house  that  thirty  years  ago  could  be  seen  on  the  old  St. 
Anthony  road,  and  many  will  recall  very  pleasant  recollections 
of  by-gone  days. 

**  How  dear  to  my  heart  are  the  scenes  of  my  childhood, 
When  fond  recollections  recall  them  to  view ; 
The  orchard,  the  meadow,  the  deep-tangled  wildwood, 
And  every  loved  spot  that  my  infancy  knew. 

*•  The  mill,  and  the  wide-spreading  pond  that  stood  near  it; 
The  bridge,  and  the  rock  where  the  cataract  fell; 
The  cot  of  my  father;  the  dairy-house  nigh  it, 
And  e'en  the  old  bucket  that  hung  in  the  well. 

*'  The  old  oaken  l:)ucket,  the  iron-bound  bucket, 
The  moss-covered  bucket  that  hung  in  the  well." 


Mr.  Larpenteur,  the  owner  of  the  farm  just  alluded  to,  was 
born  in  Paris,  France,  in  1805  ;  emigrated  to  America  when  a 
young  man  and  settled  in  Maryland,  where  he  carried  on  farm- 
ing; removed  to  St.  Paul  in   1849  ^^^  purchased  for  ^300  the 


farm  land  to  which  I  have  already  alluded.  His  father  occupied 
a  prominent  place  of  honor  in  France,  but  through  his  Republi- 
can principles,  which  were  not  congenial  to  the  monarchy  of  that 
day,  he  sought  the  shores  of  our  Republic,  where  he  could  give 
free  expression  to  his  opinion.  He  died  of  cholera  in  the  city  of 
St.  Paul,  on  May  6,  1 849,  aged  seventy-one  years.  E.  N.  Lar- 
penteur,  the  son,  continued  his  farming  operations  three  miles 
from  St.  Paul  until  about  the  year  1867,  when  he  sold  the  land 
for  ;^ 1 2,000,  now  worth  ;$  100,000,  and  gave  each  of  his  children 
something  to  start  with  in  life.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Old 
Settlers'  Association,  of  the  Union  Francaise,  and  a  devoted 
member  of  the  Catholic  Church.  After  disposing  of  his  farm  he 
resided  until  his  death  in  this  city,  where  his  widow,  his  two 
daughters  and  a  son  now  live.  Mrs.  Larpenteur  has  reached  the 
good  old  age  of  seventy-nine  years,  and  is  still  living  in  this  city. 
She  is  surrounded  with  some  of  her  children  and  grandchildren 
and  many  friends,  and  is  happy  and  comfortable  in  her  declining 

AS    A    MAN. 

Mr.  Larpenteur  was  a  rare  specimen  of  a  completed  man ; 
always  active,  always  cheerful,  always  industrious ;  devoted  to 
his  family,  faithful  to  his  religion,  honest,  frugal,  upright,  he  has 
left  behind  him  six  children  and  eighteen  grandchildren,  and 
hundreds  of  friends  who  will  ever  keep  green  in  memory  his 
many  virtues  and  his  sterling  qualities.  He  died  in  1877,  aged 
seventy-three  years. 


The  son  of  E.  N.  Larpenteur,  was  born  in  Baltimore,  Octo- 
ber, 1840,  in  the  same  house  where  five  other  children  first  saw 
the  light  of  day ;  came  to  St.  Paul  with  his  father  in  1 849,  and 
worked  on  the  farm  in  Rose  township  for  about  fourteen  years, 
when,  in  1866  he  removed  to  this  city  and  became  connected 
with  the  music  house  of  Zenzius  &  Hanke,  both  dead ;  for  a  time 
was  engaged  at  the  Opera  House  ;  devoted  several  years  in  collect- 
ing rents  for  houses  and  other  bills  ;  was  married  in  1873  ;  opened 
a  large  and  fashionable  milliner}'  and  dressmaking  establishment 
on  upper  Third  street;  entered  into  co  partnership  with  John  B. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  165 

Dow,  for  the  manufacture  of  clothing,  and  employed  a  large 
number  of  girls  and  women  ;  retired  from  business  in  consequence 
of  ill-health  ;  has  been  a  prominent  Third-ward  Republican  politi- 
cian ;  has  lived  in  the  same  ward  eighteen  years,  and  has  been 
many  times  appointed  judge  of  elections  ;  at  present  he  is  taking 
care  of  his  own  private  matters,  and  financially  is  in  a  comfortable 

THE    ORIGIN    OF   "  DOC." 

When  an  infant  about  sixteen  months  old,  young  Larpen- 
teur  was  as  sound  and  as  active  as  any  child  ever  born,  but  all 
of  a  sudden  he  lost  the  use  of  his  limbs,  it  is  alleged  from  teeth- 
ing, and  from  that  time  forward  to  the  present  period,  his  spine 
has  been  affected.  Of  course  physicians  were  employed  to  aid 
the  little  fellow  in  his  affliction,  but  their  efforts  were  unavailing. 
The  child  soon  came  to  view  the  doctors  as  sacred  beings,  and 
henceforth  began  to  imitate  them,  mixing  medicines,  looking  at 
the  tongue,  feeling  the  pulse  and  talking  learnedly  of  the  symp- 
toms of  the  patient,  and  so  well  had  he  mastered  his  profession 
that  on  one  occasion  he  stuffed  into  the  mouth  of  a  neighbor's 
child  a  mixture  of  sand,  mud  and  soap,  and  completely  cured 
her  of  the  disease  of  which  she  was  afflicted.  He  also  ground 
up  cream  candy,  put  it  into  papers  and  doled  it  out  to  the  sick  as 
powders.  His  success  in  this  line  gained  him  a  diploma  from  his 
friends,  and  he  was  dubbed  thereafter  "  Doc,"  and  has  ever  since 
meekly  borne  the  title. 


Although  an  invalid  Mr.  Larpenteur  is  one  of  the  most  active 
and  indefatigable  workers  in  the  city,  and  accomplishes  in  the  way 
of  business  a  good  deal  more  than  many  able-bodied  men.  He  is 
a  man  of  excellent  judgment;  cool  and  collected;  careful,  hon- 
est, systematic,  trustworthy,  gentlemanly,  kind-hearted  and  very 
independent,  especially  in  the  matter  of  his  religious  belief,  conced- 
ing to  others  what  he  himself  claims  the  right  to  have — to  think 
as  he  pleases.  Many  acts  of  kindness  and  of  charity,  which  the 
world  will  never  know  anything  about,  will  be  credited  to  Mr. 
Larpenteur  when  his  final  account  is  adjusted ;  and  many  in  the 
lowly  walks  of  life  will  miss  a  true  friend,  when  "  Little  Doc." 
has  passed  out  of   material  sight  into  the  realms  of  perfected 


manhood.  He  is  one  of  the  best-known  old  settlers  in  the  city, 
and  his  famiHar  face  is  recognized  ahiiost  everywhere.  He  is 
esteemed  as  a  man  and  respected  as  a  citizen. 


Ramsey  County  was  created  by  the  Legislature  in  the  year 
1849,  and  named  after  Governor  Ramsey.  Up  to  this  time  all 
the  records  of  the  Territory  were  kept  at  Stillwater,  and  here  is 
where  all  the  lawyers  resided.  Stillwater  was  then  the  big  town, 
and  St.  Anthony  was  the  next  biggest  town,  but  St.  Paul  began  to 
grow,  and  it  was  finally  settled  as  to  what  place  would  carry  off 
the  honors  when  St.  Paul  was  made  the  temporary  Capital  of 
the  Territory.  From  that  period  the  place  began  to  increase  in 
population  and  wealth.  Then  came  the  first  paper,  schools, 
churches,  civilization,  and  Stillwater  and  St.  Anthony  fell  way 


Judge  Cooper  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  somewhere  about 
1820;  studied  and  practiced  law  in  his  native  State;  was  ap- 
pointed one  of  the  Associate  Judges  of  the  first  Supreme  Court 
of  the  Territory  of  Minnesota,  by  President  Taylor ;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1 849 ;  at  the  expiration  of  his  term  he  practiced  law  in 
this  city ;  finally  went  to  Nevada ;  made  mining  titles  his  spe- 
cialty ;  from  thence  he  removed  to  Utah,  where  he  died,  aged  about 
fifty-five  years. 

Judge  Cooper  was  a  medium-sized  man,  with  a  clear  com- 
plexion, good  features,  very  gentlemanly  in  his  make-up,  and 
was  especially  noted  for  his  ruffled  shirt  bosom  and  ruffled  cuffs, 
which  gave  him  the  appearance  of  "  an  old-school  gentleman," 
such  as  we  see  in  the  person  of  Wm.  Penn.  He  had  a  neat 
appearance  except  when  he  allowed  tobacco  juice  to  drop  on 
his  shirt  bosom,  as  he  was  an  inveterate  lover  of  the  weed. 
He  was  a  diligent  student ;  not  brilliant  as  a  lawyer  nor  as  a  Judge, 
yet  a  good  deal  of  an  antagonist  m  a  legal  fight,  and  was  very 
social  in  his  habits. 

"  I'll  READ  the  rules  myself." 

The  rules  governing  the  first  court  were  submitted  to  the 
judges  in  the  hand-writing  of  several   lav\ycrs,  and  were  conse- 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  167 

quently  very  hard  to  read.  Clerk  J.  K.  Humphrey  had  mastered 
about  one-third  of  them,  then  hesitated,  and  was  trying  to  pick 
out  a  word  to  make  sense,  when  Cooper  reached  over  the  desk, 
and  in  an  irritable  manner  asked  for  the  book,  remarking — "  I'll 
read  the  rules  myself,"  and  then  muttering  something  about  hav- 
ing a  clerk  who  could  neither  read  nor  write,  he  proceeded  to  do 
what  Humphrey  could  not  do,  viz.,  read  just  three  lines,  when  he 
came  to  a  pause,  turned  the  book  to  the  light,  twisted  it  one  way 
and  then  the  other,  looked  up,  became  red  in  the  face,  threw  the 
book  down  on  the  desk  and  ordered  a  recess  of  the  court.  Hum- 
phrey "  sniggered  right  out  in  meetin',''  the  lawyers  laughed,  the 
Judge  pulled  his  hat  over  his  head  and  remarked — "  A  lawyer 
that  will  write  such  a  hand  as  that  ought  to  be  suspended  from 
practicing  in  the  Courts."  That  same  lawyer  subsequently  be- 
came a  United  States  Senator  from  Minnesota,  the  Judge  died  in 
a  hospital  in  a  distant  western  State,  a  poor,  broken-down  man. 
Humphrey  still  lives  in  St.  Paul,  and  is  as  calm  and  as  good- 
natured  now  as  he  was  then,  thirty-six  years  ago. 


Capt.  Bond  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  about  1825  ;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1 849 ;  accompanied  Gov.  Ramsey  in  his  treaty- 
making  tours  ;  wrote  "  Camp-Fire  Sketches,"  and  other  articles  ; 
in  1853  opened  a  drug  store  in  upper  town  with  M.  N.  Kellogg ; 
issued  a  work  called  "  Minnesota  and  her  resources  ;  "  bought  out 
Kellogg  and  ran  the  business  to  1861,  when  he  was  appointed 
Captain  Commissary  in  the  army ;  served  four  years ;  went  to 
Europe ;  returned  ;  was  State  Emigrant  Agent  for  several  years, 
and  latterly  has  been  engaged  in  the  insurance  business. 

Captain  Bond  is  peculiar.  He  has  a  good-sized  bald  head  ; 
is  slender  in  person,  but  a  man  of  indomitable  will-power  and 
energy  ;  is  persevering  and  determined  ;  prides  himself  upon  be- 
ing independent,  and  snaps  his  fingers  at  public  opinion.  He  is 
a  man  of  considerable  ability  as  a  writer ;  very  secretive ;  keeps 
out  of  society ;  loves  home ;  in  a  word  turns  his  back  upon  the 
world,  caring  very  little  for  its  good  opinion  or  its  bad.  He 
takes  very  little  interest  in  public  affairs,  and  plods  on  in  his  own 
individual  groove.  He  gained  some  notoriety  years  ago  by  a 
dream  he  claims  to  have  had  wherein  he  pictured  out  the  con- 


struction  of  the   Northern  Pacific  railway  and  the  growth  of  St. 
Paul,  most  of  which  has  actually  come  to  pass. 

J.  C.  TERRY. 

Mr.  Terry  was  born  in  Ohio  in  1824;  was  educated  at  an 
academy  in  his  native  State ;  learned  the  printing  business ; 
edited  a  paper  in  Lima ;  was  foreman  of  the  Defraine  Democrat, 
Ohio ;  was  an  attache  of  the  army  in  Mexico ;  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1849;  engaged  in  lumbering;  was  an  employe  on  the  C/iron- 
icle  2ind  Registej';  published  in  1851  the  first  Revised  Statutes 
of  the  Territory  of  Minnesota,  and  the  volume  bears  his  name; 
was  the  first  publisher  of  the  Minnesotian  in  1852;  was  assistant 
postmaster  under  Major  Forbes  and  other  postmasters,  for  eight- 
een years ;  was  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Education  for  a 
number  of  terms ;  has  been  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Public 
Works,  and  at  present  is  secretary  of  the  Masonic  Relief  Asso- 


Mr.  Terry  drifted  out  of  his  various  occupations  into  that 
of  real  estate.  He  first  purchased  a  lot  on  Walnut  street,  for 
which  he  paid  $100,  worth  now  ;^6,ooo ;  owned  two  lots  on 
Wacouta  street,  for  which  he  paid  ;^300,  worth  ;^20,ooo;  pur- 
chased corner  of  Eighth  and  Wacouta  one  lot  for  ^1,800,  worth 
^15,000;  fifty  feet  east  of  last  lot  for  $200,  will  bring  $7,000; 
fifty  feet  east  of  the  last  property  for  ;^6oo,  can't  be  purchased 
now  for  ;^20,ooo;  seventy-five  feet  on  Seventh  street  for  ;^I75, 
sold  it  for  ;^400,  worth  now  $30,000  ;  corner  of  Sibley  and  Tenth 
streets,  50x100  feet,  $800,  sold  for  $6,000,  worth  $35,000;  two 
lots  on  Ninth  street,  one  now  owned  by  J.  J.  Hill,  for  which  he 
paid  $50,  sold  for  $ioo,  worth  $15,000;  was  offered  forty  acres 
near  where  the  old  Park  Place  used  to  stand,  corner  St.  Peter  and 
Summit  avenue,  for  $3  per  acre,  or  $120;  worth  now  $30,000 
per  acre,  or  in  the  aggregate  $1,200,000;  was  urged  by  Dr. 
Borup  to  buy  a  block  of  lots  on  Third  street,  then  a  swamp,  where 
Griggs  &  Foster's  warehouse  now  stands,  for  $50  per  block,  but 
Mr. Terry  says  most  emphatically — "I  did  not  take  it."  The 
same  block  is  now  worth  $300,000 ! ! !  And  so  the  list  might  be 
carried   out  indefinitely,  but  I   forbear.      Terry  says  if  he  had 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  169 

;^ 1, 000,000  to-day  he  would  invest  it  in  St.  Paul  property,  as  he 
has  great  faith  in  the  growth  of  the  city. 


Mr.  Terry  is  a  tall  man,  moderate  in  his  movements  and 
moderate  in  his  speech,  and  I  never  shall  forget  him  as  I  saw 
him  for  the  first  time  with  his  large  head  peeping  out  from  behind 
the  window  of  the  old  postoffice,  thirty-two  years  ago.  I  thought 
such  a  man,  with  such  a  head,  ought  to  be  distinguished  in  the 
halls  of  Congress,  or  as  the  president  of  some  immense  railroad 
corporation,  but  experience  has  taught  me  that  it  is  not  large 
heads  or  brains  that  succeed  financially,  but  small  heads  with 
money-making  proclivities  will  carry  off  the  prize  every  time. 
Mr.  Terry,  like  many  other  old  settlers,  has  had  his  ups  and 
downs  ;  his  troubles  and  his  trials  ;  yet  he  has  filled  his  sphere 
of  usefulness,  and  now,  in  advanced  years,  philosophically  meets 
events  as  they  transpire.  He  is  undemonstrative  in  his  nature, 
retiring  in  his  disposition,  and  is  esteemed  both  as  a  Mason  and 
a  man. 

*'  MONK    HALL." 

You  pass  by  Moore's  building  at  the  Seven  Corners,  continue 
up  on  the  right  West  Seventh  formerly  Fort  street,  about  half  a 
block,  and  you  come  to  a  long  wooden  edifice  now  occupied  as 
a  fruit  store,  but  better  known  to  the  old  settlers  as  the  rendez- 
vous and  residence  of  the  late  Luther  H.  Eddy.  This  building 
formerly  stood  on  the  corner  of  Fort  and  Eagle  streets  and  was 
known  as  "  Monk  Hall,"  celebrated  in  its  day  for  the  conviviali- 
ties incident  to  some  of  the  men  and  the  times  of  1849.  Among 
these  was  one  known  as  ''Jim  Vincent,"  a  splendid-looking  fel- 
low, whose  social  nature  and  gentlemanly  bearing  made  him  a 
welcome  guest  anywhere,  with  or  without  money  ;  and  then  there 
was  Charlie  Henniss,  a  warm-hearted,  generous  person,  a  good 
newspaper  writer,  an  effective  and  graceful  speaker;  and  then 
— and  then — but  I  will  not  mention  any  more  names,  but  simply 
state — 

White  spirits,  black  spirits,  blue  spirits,  gray, 
Mingle,  mingle,  mingle,  but  all  have  passed  away  ; 
They  sing  not,  they  dance  not,  nor  respond  to  our  call, 
But  echo  and  re-echo  the  name  of  "  Monk  Hall." 


From  which  one  would  infer  (the  poetry  being  partly  origi- 
nal,) that  the  old  devotees  of  the  past  had  come  back  to  indulge 
in  the  *'  flowing  bowl  "  and  to  sing  and  live  over  again  their  weird 
and  mystic  lives.  One  can  almost  hear  the  strains  of  the  violin 
and  see  the  moving  figures,  and  hear  the  voice  of  the  leader  call- 
ing out — 

"  On  with  the  dance,  let  joy  be  unconfined  ;  no  sleep  till  morn, 
Till  youth  and  beauty  meet,  to  chase  the  hours  with  flying  feet." 

And  then  the  last  night  has  come,  the  last  song  is  to  be 
sung,  the  last  dance  to  be  enjoyed,  the  last  farewell  given,  the 
last  drink  taken,  when  we  hear  the  chorus  : 

"  Come,  pass  round  the  bowl — we'll  drink  while  we  stay, 
Although  from  the  hall  ere  the  dawning  of  day 
Our  order  forever  wide-scattered  shall  be, 
No  more  to  unite  in  our  wild  revelry. 
Bright  spirits  of  Heaven,  and  spirits  of  hell. 
With  their  thin  airy  forms  and  sulphurous  smell, 
Flit  wildly  around  us  and  join  in  our  glee, 
Sing  to  our  dancing  and  bend  the  gay  knee." 

The  actors  are  all  dead,  but  old  "  Monk  Hall "  still  stands 
to  remind  us  of  some  of  the  incidents  of  1849,  which  I  now  pass 
into  history. 


These  gentlemen  were  the  first  legitimate  bankers  in  the 
Territory  of  Minnesota,  and  indeed  I  may  say  in  the  City  of  St. 
Paul.  Charles  W.  Borup,  the  senior  member,  was  born  in 
Copenhagen,  Denmark,  in  1 806,  and  died  in  St.  Paul  July,  1859, 
aged  53  years.  He  came  to  Mackinaw,  Lake  Superior,  in  1831, 
was  connected  with  what  was  known  as  the  Northern  Outfit, 
established  at  St.  Louis,  to  trade  with  the  Chippewa  Indians,  and 
had  in  charge  trading  posts  at  Rainy  Lake.  He  subsequently 
became  chief  agent  of  the  American  Fur  Company,  then  con- 
trolled by  P.  Choteau,  Jr.,  &  Co.,  of  St.  Louis,  Missouri.  At  one 
time  he  lived  at  Fort  Snelling,  Leech  Lake,  etc.,  and  came  to  St. 
Paul  to  reside  permanently  in  1849. 


In  1853  Borup  and  Oakes  went  into  the  banking  business 
in  this  city  in  a  building  which  stood   opposite  the   Merchants 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  171 

hotel,  where  the  Prince  block  now  stands.  In  December  of  this 
year  I  called  upon  them  for  the  first  money  I  had  earned  in  the 
Territory  as  a  writer  on  the  Pioneer — amount  $130 — when  I  was 
told  they  did  not  have  funds  enough  in  the  bank  to  pay,  but  they 
would  have  some  in  a  day  or  two.  I  waited  and  was  paid.  And 
this  was  banking  in  the  early  days  !  Then  their  business  increased, 
and  they  moved  to  a  room  under  the  Merchants  hotel.  In  course 
of  time  the  bank  put  out  bills  of  an  institution  belonging  to 
George  Smith,  called  the  Atlanta  money.  Then  the  business  of 
the  institution  began  'to  swell  to  large  proportions  ;  but  the  peo- 
ple became  uneasy  about  this  class  of  bills  and  they  were  driven 
home  on  the  bank,  and  thereafter  the  owners  confined  themselves 
to  a  more  ligitimate  mode  of  financiering. 

"two  endorsers,  sir." 

Late  one  afternoon  a  then  prominent  dry  goods  merchant 
and  an  intimate  friend  of  Mr.  Borup,  rushed  into  the  bank  while 
a  crowd  of  men  were  standing  about  the  paying  clerk's  desk,  and 
told  Mr.  Borup  he  wanted  ^3,000  to  send  to  New  York. 

"  Have  you  two  endorsers?"  inquired  Mr.  Borup. 

"  Why— no— Mr.  Borup.     You  know " 

Can't  help  it." 

Mr.  Borup,"  expostulated  the  merchant,  "  if  I  don't  get 
this  aid  I  am  ruined." 

"  I  can't  help  it,  sir  ;  you  must  have  two  endorsers,  sir ;  that 
is  our  rule,  sir,  and  we  can't  deviate  in  your  case." 

The  men  in  the  crowd  looked  at  each  other  and  Borup  went 
on  with  his  business.  The  merchant  retired  to  his  private  room, 
and  sinking  into  a  chair,  exclaimed — "  I  am  lost !  "  when  a  gentle 
tap  was  heard  at  the  door  and  a  boy  handed  him  a  note  reading: 

Your  $3,000  has  been  sent.  Never  again  ask  for  accommodations  in  a  crowd 
without  being  ready  to  comply  with  our  rules.     See  me  privately.         Yours,     B. 

Of  course  the  merchant  was  saved  financially,  and  when  he 
wanted  any  further  accommodation  at  the  bank,  he  took  good 
care  to  see  Mr.  Borup  *'  privately." 


Mr.  Borup  was  a  short,  thick-set  man,  with  a  florid  com- 
plexion, and,  I  think,  with  blue  eyes.     He  was  quick  in  speech 

1 72  PEN  PICT  URES 

and  quick  in  motion ;  very  decided  in  his  way  and  all  business. 
He  could  be  very  stern  and  then  again  could  be  very  mild.  He 
was  a  remarkable  man,  of  tact  and  will-power,  never  yielding  in 
business  matters,  and  yet,  as  a  father,  husband,  friend,  kind,  gentle, 
loving.  As  a  banking  man  of  to-day  he  would  rank  high. 
Charles  H.  Oakes,  his  partner,  was  right  the  opposite  in  all  these 
characteristics.  He  was  always  smiling,  always  kind,  less  brusque 
in  his  ways  than  Borup,  but  more  easy  in  his  nature.  He  rarely 
disagreed  with  anyone,  and  yet  he  was  a  man  who  had  a  mind 
of  his  own.  He  was  venturesome  ;  Borup  never  went  outside  of 
legitimate  business.  They  got  along  well  together  as  partners, 
as  Borup  did  the  business  and  Oakes  always  agreed  with  him. 


Mr.  Borup  entered  his  bank  one  morning  and  complained  of 
a  pain  in  his  heart.  He  finally  left  the  bank,  leaning  on  the  arm 
of  a  friend,  still  living,  and  reached  his  home.  The  friend  left, 
and  in  fifteen  minutes  after  Mr.  Borup  was  dead,  struck  down 
while  sitting  in  his  chair,  by  heart  disease.  He  was  a  man  of 
strong  character,  and  as  a  financier  would  rank  among  the  best 
of  to-day.  He  left  quite  a  large  family,  only  four  or  five  of  whom 
survive  him. 


Judge  Goodrich  informs  me  that  while  in  a  grocery  store  in 
upper  town  on  the  4th  day  of  July,  1850,  he  overheard  a  rough 
customer  request  volunteers  to  go  down  and  lynch  "  old  Borup." 
The  Judge's  devoted  friendship  for  Mr.  B.  led  him  to  make  quick 
steps  to  the  office  of  the  doomed  man,  and  he  had  just  time  to 
inform  Mr.  Borup  of  what  was  in  contemplation,  when  the  crowd 
pressed  in  upon  him.  The  leader  informed  the  banker  that  he 
had  insulted  not  only  them,  but  the  whole  American  nation. 
Borup  wanted  to  know  how,  when  they  pointed  to  the  top  of  his 
house,  which  then  stood  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Jackson 
streets,  and  there  they  saw  floating  an  English  flag!  Borup  was 
dumbfounded,  but  recovering  his  senses  he  assured  the  crowd 
that  he  meant  no  disrespect ;  in  fact,  he  did  not  know  that  the 
flag  was  there.  On  investigation  it  was  found  that  his  little  son 
Gus,  aged  about  six  years,  in  rummaging  a  trunk,  had  found  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  173 

flag  which  had  been  given  to  Mr.  Borup  by  an  Indian  from  the 
British  Possessions,  and  out  of  pure  patriotism  for  the  American 
eagle,  had  chmbed  upon  the  top  of  the  house  and  without  the 
consent  or  knowledge  of  his  father,  had  thrown  it  to  the  breeze. 
The  crowd  was  satisfied  with  the  explanation,  and  Mr.  Borup 
went  into  the  house  muttering  to  himself — "  That  Gus  will  be  the 
ruin  of  me  yet " — while  the  little  fellow  shoved  his  hands  deep 
down  into  his  breeches  pockets  with  a  self-assured  air  that  he 
was  master  of  the  situation.     Gus  is  still  alive. 


I  find  that  notwithstanding  I  have  reached  the  year  1850, 
yet  there  are  several  old  settlers  left  straggling  along  in  1849,  ^^^d 
I  propose  to  pick  them  up  and  put  them  among  the  other  land- 
marks which  adorn  my  history.  One  of  the  most  unpretending 
of  these  is  John  Rogers,  who  kept  a  hotel  on  Robert  street,  next 
to  the  new  German-American  Bank,  up  to  1885,  and  where  he 
had  continuously  acted  as  landlord  for  the  past  thirty-two  years, 
out-ranking  any  other  landlord  in  the  city  or  State.  Mr.  Rogers 
was  born  in  Ireland  in  1828,  came  to  America  in  1845,  and  to 
St.  Paul  in  1849.  He  purchased  two  lots  where  he  now  lives  on 
Robert  street,  for  ;$250,  worth  at  present  ^30,000.  Upon  one  of 
these  lots  he  built  a  small  wooden  house  in  which  he  resided,  and 
later,  in  1852,  he  erected  on  his  other  lot  the  brick  building  which 
is  now  his  hotel.  In  1849  the  land  was  prairie  back  to  Waba- 
sha street,  while  in  front  of  his  house  it  was  broken,  and  a 
stream  of  water  gurgled  down  under  what  is  known  as  the  build- 
ing; of  the  First  National  Bank.  He  was  elected  one  of  the  first 
x\ldermen  of  the  city,  and  he  and  Bush  Lott  are  the  only  surviv- 
ing Aldermen  of  that  day.  He  was  also  School  Inspector  for 
three  years.  In  1850  he  was  the  first  butcher  who  ran  a  cart 
and  supplied  St.  Paul,  St.  Anthony,  Fort  Snelling  and  Mendota 
with  fresh  meat.  Mosher  &  Douglas  started  an  opposition  line, 
but  while  they  were  blacking  their  boots  and  polishing  their  stove 
pipe  hats  preparatory  to  starting  out  on  their  journey,  Rogers 
had  made  his  rounds,  supplied  his  customers  and  was  on  his  way 
home.  Of  course  the  opposition  firm  went  out  of  business  in 
less  than  a  year.  He  was  in  the  habit  of  purchasing  flocks  of 
sheep  and  fattening  them  on  the  natural  food  they  found  just  in 


front  of  his  house,  and  reaching  down  to  Jackson  street.  He 
has  had  fifteen  children  born  in  Minnesota,  nine  of  whom  are 
aHve,  and  two  sons  are  in  business  for  themselves.  His  hotel 
building  has  thirty-two  rooms  in  it,  and  he  has  run  it  himself 
just  thirty-two  years. 


Mr.  Rogers  is  a  small  man,  keen,  quiet,  unpretending  and 
yet  full  of  genuine  Irish  wit.  He  is  a  man  who  has  paid  strict 
attention  to  his  business,  and  has  been  satisfied  to  let  well  enough 
alone.  In  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  while  others  have  made 
changes  he  has  obstinately  '*  held  the  fort,"  and  now  in  turn  the 
fort  holds  him  as  he  glides  quietly  and  peacefully  down  the  valley 
of  life,  bearing  the  honor  of  being  the  oldest  landlord  in  the 

R.  p.  RUSSELL. 

Mr.  Russell  was  born  in  Vermont  in  1820;  resided  in  Mich- 
igan three  years  ;  came  to  Fort  Snelling  at  the  request  of  Hon. 
H.  M.  Rice,  in  1839,  traveling  on  foot  from  Prairie  du  Chien 
through  deep  snow  with  only  an  Indian  guide ;  removed  to  the 
Indian  country  in  1845  ^"^  entered  the  employ  of  Gen.  Sibley  ; 
became  a  resident  at  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  in  1847  and 
entered  the  service  of  the  late  Franklin  Steele;  in  the  fall  of  that 
year  opened  the  first  store  in  what  is  now  Minneapolis  ;  w^as 
married  to  Miss  Marion  Patch  in  1848,  it  being  the  first  marriage 
ceremony  performed  at  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony  ;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1849  and  took  charge  of  the  business  of  H.  M.  Rice; 
in  the  fall  of  that  year  formed  a  partnership  with  J.  D.  Crutten- 
den  ;  then  removed  to  St.  Anthony  and  engaged  in  mercantile 
business,  and  as  St.  Anthony  was  in  Ramsey  County,  Mr.  Rus- 
s.'ll  was  elected  Count}-  Commissioner  the  year  before  the  first 
Court  House  was  built;  served  three  years  and  signed  the  bonds 
issued  for  buikliiiLf  the  same;  in  1862  was  elected  to  the  Lecris- 
lature;  in  1854  was  appointed  Receiver  of  the  United  States  for 
the  Minneapolis  land  oflfice  ;  resigned  in  1858.  During  the  time 
he  was  Receiver  nearly  all  the  land  in  said  district,  including 
West  St.  Paul  and  all  of  Dakota  County  were  sold  to  actual 
settlers  at  one  dollar  and  twenty-five  cents  per  acre!  In  1862  lie 
was  elected  one  of  the  Trustees  of  the  then  village  of  Minneap- 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  175 

olis  ;  served  until  the  village  became  a  city  ;  was  elected  chairman 
of  the  Board  of  Town  Supervisors  for  the  town  of  Minneapolis 
in  1872,  and  served  continuously  until  1883  ;  laid  out  a  part  of 
what  is  now  the  city  of  Minneapolis,  and  has  done  his  full  share 
in  building  up  that  city.  N.  W.  Kittson,  H.  M.  Rice  and  Mr. 
Russell  are  probably  the  three  oldest  former  living  residents  of 
Hennepin  County,  Mr.  Russell  being  the  oldest  settler  now  living 
in  the  county.  Ten  children  once  graced  the  family  circle  of  this 
old  settler,  nine  of  whom  still  survive. 


In  all  the  positions  of  trust  and  of  responsibility  in  which 
Mr.  Russell  has  been  placed,  he  has  filled  them  with  great  credit 
to  himself  and  to  the  entire  satisfaction  of  his  employers.  He  is 
a  quiet,  honest,  honorable  gentleman,  very  popular  and  very 
greatly  esteemed  by  those  who  know  him.  He  has  a  plenty  of 
this  world's  goods,  is  surrounded  by  an  interesting  family  of 
children,  and  is  among  the  most  respected  and  best  known  of  the 
citizens  of  our  sister  city. 


A  venerable  looking  man,  but  a  man  of  fine  ability  and 
strong  character,  is  Rev.  Hobart,  now  living  in  Red  Wmg,  Min- 
nesota, aged  seventy-four  years.  He  has  a  prominent  forehead 
and  decided  features,  which  mark  him  as  a  man  of  great  endur- 
ance and  power,  and  though  now  passed  three-score-years-and- 
ten,  yet  he  is  vigorous  even  in  old  age.  He  was  born  on  the 
shores  of  Lake  Champlain,  in  Vermont,  in  181 1,  and  is  one  of 
twins  ;  was  raised  on  a  farm,  and  at  the  age  of  eight  years  was 
in  the  habit  of  riding  twelve  miles  on  horseback  to  carry  grist 
to  tlie  mill ;  attended  a  country  school ;  moved  with  his  parents 
to  Illinois  in  1821  ;  joined  the  church  in  1834;  married  the  same 
year;  in  1835  was  licensed  to  exhort;  and  was  soon  after  rec- 
ommended to  preach,  and  so  authorized,  and  from  this  time  for- 
ward Mr.  Hobart  wended  his  way  through  forests  and  swamps 
in  the  far  West,  and  has  been  preaching  nearly  fifty  years.  He 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849,  when  there  were  only  400  inhabitants. 
He  was  the  first  Chaplain  of  the  first  Legislature,  and  through 
his   labors  completed  the  little  brick  church  fronting  Rice  Park. 


In  his  history  of  his  Hfe  he  speaks  of  a  journey  to  a  camp-meet- 
ing in  the  following  manner: 

"  Then  we  plunged  into  the  wilderness,  which  we  knew  to  be  a  vast,  dense 
unbroken  forest  for  the  next  one  hundred  miles,  with  nothing  to  guide  us  but  the 
sun,  the  stars,  and  a  pocket-compass;  had  food  for  three  and  a  half  days  ;  four 
blankets,  coffee  pot,  two  tin  cups,  a  hand-ax,  a  rifle,  and  a  pair  of  saddle-bags.  After 
havino-  traveled  about  fifteen  miles,  we  camped  in  a  deep  ravine  in  a  choke-cherry 
thicket,  just  deserted  by  a  company  of  bears.  The  next  day  we  passed  over  a  rough 
country,  many  hills  being  more  than  four  hundred  feet  high.  Found  shelter  in  a 
friendly  cave  while  a  severe  thunder-storm  passed  by,  and  then  we  camped  that  night 
in  a  deep  ravine,  and  were  thoroughly  drenched  about  midnight,  being  then  driven 
out  of  bed  to  find  shelter  behind  the  large  trees  around  us.  In  the  morning  we  dried 
our  clothes  by  a  rousing  fire,  ate  our  breakfast,  offered  up  our  morning  prayer,  and 
pursued  our  journey." 

Mr.  Hobart  purchased  two  lots  in  Red  Wing  in  1853,  and 
upon  these  lots  he  built  a  humble  home,  where  he  now  resides. 
He  was  a  resident  of  Minneapolis  for  some  time,  and  then  moved 
to  St.  Paul,  where  he  continued  some  years,  and  now  makes  his 
home  in  Red  Wing.  He  is  a  gallant  old  soldier  of  the  Cross  of 


Capt.  Wilkin  was  a  brother  of  Judge  Wilkin,  of  our  Dis- 
trict Court,  and  son  of  the  late  Judge  Samuel  Wilkin  of  Orange 
County,  N.  Y.,  where  he  was  born  in  the  year  1820.  He  studied 
law  with  his  father,  and  for  a  time  practiced  at  Goshen.  In  1 847  he 
enlisted  for  the  Mexican  war  ;  was  commissioned  Captain  ;  served 
under  Gen.  Taylor;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849;  practiced  his 
profession,  when,  in  1851  he  was  appointed  United  States  Mar- 
shal for  Minnesota,  and  served  until  1853,  and  that  year  he  was 
a  candidate  for  Congress,  but  was  defeated,  when,  in  i860  he 
espoused  the  cause  of  Stephen  A.  Douglas.  He  visited  Europe 
during  the  Crimean  war,  roamed  among  the  allied  armies,  and 
became  thoroughly  posted  in  the  soldier  art  of  the  European 
forces.  He  was  in  St.  Paul  practicing  his  profession  and  deal- 
ing in  real  estate  up  to  the  breaking  out  of  the  rebellion  ;  re- 
cruited the  first  company  of  the  first  regiment  for  the  war ;  was 
Major  of  the  Second  Minnesota ;  commissioned  Lieutenant-Col- 
onel of  the  same  regiment  in  1862  ;  made  Colonel  of  the  Ninth 
Regiment  the  same  year  ;  left  the  frontier  and  took  part  against 
Forest  in  the  South  ;  acted  bravely  at  Bull   Run ;  when,  in  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  177 

battle   of   Tupelo,   Mississippi,   on    July    14,  1864,  he  was   shot 
through  the  heart  and  killed  instantly. 


Capt.  Wilkin  was  a  small  man,  not  weighing  much  over  one 
hundred  pounds,  yet  he  was  the  soul  of  honor  and  of  manhood. 
I  knew  him  intimately  and  well,  as  he  was  associated  with  the 
writer  financially  in  the  establishment  of  the  old  Times.  He  was 
brave,  active,  manly,  sensitive,  honorable,  generous,  courteous, 
ambitious  and  chivalrous.  He  was  aspiring,  and  would  have 
been  glad  to  have  held  some  responsible  political  position,  and  yet 
he  would  have  scorned  to  have  obtained  it  through  any  mean 
trick.  Failing  in  achievijig  his  ideal  political  preferment,  he 
entered  the  army,  and  here  he  exhibited  traits  of  character  which 
proved  him  to  be  a  brave  and  noble  soldier.  He  was  excitable 
in  his  temperament  and  quick  to  resent  a  wrong,  yet  he  was 
magnanimous  and  forgiving.  Few  men  have  gone  down  to  the 
grave  with  a  better  record  or  a  better  name  than  Col.  Alex.  Wil- 
kin, and  few  names  will  be  more  kindly  remembered  by  the  old 
settlers,  than  that  of  the  **  Little  Captain." 


An  old  man,  eighty-three  years  of  age,  who  arrived  in  this 
city  thirty-six  years  ago,  and  who  was  born  in  Virginia  in  1801 
and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849,  is  a  living  memento  of  the  old 
Central  House  in  which  the  first  session  of  the  first  Legislature 
was  held,  for  Mr.  Kennedy  at  this  time  was  the  famous  landlord 
of  this  famous  hotel,  the  first  public  house  the  writer  stopped  at 
when  he  came  to  St.  Paul  in  the  year  1853.  After  running  the 
Central  House  for  three  years,  he  moved  to  Shakopee  in  1854, 
built  and  ran  a  hotel  there  thirteen  years,  when  he  returned  to  St. 
Paul  in  1857  and  kept  a  boarding  house  for  a  time;  then  ran 
what  was  known  as  "  Moffett's  Castle  "  three  years  ;  was  landlord 
of  the  old  Snelling  House  on  now  West  Seventh  street  two  years  ; 
again  kept  a  boarding  house ;  then  took  the  Burnand  House  on 
Fourth  street,  and  ran  that  for  several  years,  thus  filling  out  in 
Minnesota  some  thirty  years  of  his  life  as  landlord  and  boarding 
house  keeper. 



In  1853  Mr.  Kennedy  was  appointed  Collector  of  Customs 
for  the  port  of  St,  Paul,  and  he  held  this  office  up  to  1856,  when 
he  resigned  in  favor  of  a  little,  dumpty  old  settler  by  the  name 
of  L.  B.  Wait,  a  peculiar  character  in  his  day.  During  his  term 
of  office,  that  is,  three  years,  Mr.  Kennedy  received  ^46.42  as 
custom  house  fees.  He  was  also  inspector  of  steamboats  and 
did  a  lively  business  when  the  boats  arrived,  which  in  those  early 
days  was  not  very  often. 

OVER    THE    plains — GOLD  ! PERSONAL    COURAGE. 

Mr.  Kennedy,  tired  of  catering  to  the  inner  man,  which  is 
the  biggest  part  of  the  human  family,  in  1864  started  over  the 
plains  for  the  gold  mines  of  Montana,  where  he  remained  about 
a  year.  Here  he  made  a  gold  claim  near  where  Helena  is  now 
a  prosperous  city,  and  out  of  this  he  took  gold  enough  to  pay  all 
his  debts,  most  of  which  had  been  accumulated  by  endorsing. 
After  his  return  home  his  son  sold  out  his  gold  claim  in  Mon- 
tana for  ;^370,  now  worth  $300,000! 

Mr.  Kennedy  came  in  contact  with  many  rough  characters 
in  early  days,  which  tested  his  personal  courage.  In  one  instance 
he  was  informed  that  a  bad  man  was  about  the  street  armed  with 
a  knife  seeking  his  life.  Kennedy  confronted  him,  took  the  knife 
out  of  his  belt,  and  actually  forced  him  to  go  and  deliver  it  up 
where  he  got  it.  At  another  time  an  ugly  fellow  threatened  to 
shoot  him,  but  Kennedy  met  him  boldly,  got  the  drop  on  him, 
and  the  fellow  threw  up  the  sponge. 

Both  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Kennedy  are  considerably  advanced  in 
years,  and  they  claim  that  during  the  Indian  rebellion  they  fed 
horses  and  men  for  whicli  they  never  received  a  cent.  Mr.  K. 
is  incapacitated  from  performing  any  labor  in  consequence  of  an 
injury  to  his  knee,  while  Mrs.  K.,  a  kind,  genial,  worthy  lady,  is 
worn  out  with  hard  w  ork.  They  both  deserve  a  pension  of  the 

GUS.  J.    BOKUP. 

Mr.  Borup  is  a  son  of  the  late  Charles  W.  Borup  and  the 
same  little  fellow  who  planted  an  English  flag  on  the  top  of  the 
flag  staff  of  his  father's  house,  on  the  Fourth  of  July,  1850,  and 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  179 

which  act  came  very  near  causing  his  father  considerable  trouble, 
for  the  particulars  of  which  see  notice  of  C.  W.  Borup.  He  was 
then  about  six  years  of  age.  He  was  born  at  La  Pointe,  Wis- 
consin, in  1 841  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849,  and  is  therefore  one 
of  the  oldest  settlers.  He  was  for  a  time  with  his  brother  Theo- 
dore in  the  grocery  and  commission  business,  and  then  became 
agent  for  the  transportation  lines  of  the  Great  Western,  Erie  and 
Pacific  Dispatch,  in  which  position  he  has  continued  ever  since. 
He  is  a  quiet,  pleasant,  industrious  gentleman,  well  posted  in  his 
business  and  much  devoted  to  it.  He  is  very  generally  esteemed 
for  his  many  good  qualities. 


Mr.  Spencer  was  born  in  Kentucky  in  1821  ;  was  raised 
upon  a  farm ;  attended  a  common  school ;  learned  the  carpenter 
trade ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1 849 ;  worked  at  his  trade  here  ; 
engaged  in  steamboating  in  1856  ;  in  1862  went  to  Montana,  and 
was  among  the  first  to  make  mineral  discoveries  there;  accumu- 
lated ;^ 1 0,000,  mostly  from  building  houses  and  selling  them  and 
running  a  saw  mill;  returned  to  St.  Paul  in  1865  and  worked 
at  his  trade ;  invested  money  made  in  real  estate  ;  went  to  Duluth 
in  1869,  where  he  remained  until  1872;  built  the  great  break- 
water and  dock  at  that  place ;  cost  $200,000 ;  is  at  present 
engaged  at  his  old  trade  of  building  houses  in  this  city. 


Mr.  spencer  at  one  time  owned  200  feet  square  on  the  cor- 
ner of  Wacouta  and  Third  streets,  for  which  he  paid  $1,500; 
worth  now  $200,000 ;  50x150  feet  on  Robert  street,  between  Third 
and  Fourth,  cost  $100,  worth  $25,000;  50  feet  on  Robert  street, 
between  Fifth  and  Sixth  streets,  upon  which  Dr.  Potts'  old  house 
stands,  cost  $90 ;  worth  $30,000 ;  seventy-five  feet  on  Wabasha 
street  for  $800  ;  sold  for  $1 ,000 ;  worth  $30,000 ;  a  lot  on  Minne- 
sota street  for  $900  ;  sold  for  $1,500;  worth  $20,000;  one  acre 
between  Broadway  and  Canada  streets,  for  $500 ;  worth  $25,000; 
103  acres  in  West  St.  Paul,  cost  $1,000;  worth  $1,000,000; 
owned  property  on  Fourth,  Pine,  Rosabel,  Fifth,  Sixth  and  other 
streets;  120  acres  near  Como;  160  acres  beyond  the  property 
of  Edmund  Rice ;    and  indeed  for  $5000  he  could  have  bought 


property  in  St.  Paul  in  1849  which  is  now  worth  ;^ 1 5,000,000 ! 
Mr.  Spencer  lost  most  of  his  real  estate  by  endorsing  for  others, 
and  yet  he  has  some  left.  He  owns  some  eight  houses  in  the 
city  and  the  amount  of  property  he  has  saved  is  sufficient  to 
enable  him  to  live  comfortably,  and  yet  he  had  the  ground-work 
laid  for  a  large  fortune. 


Mr.  Spencer  has  sandy  whiskers  and  sandy  hair ;  is  tall, 
slender ;  moderate  in  his  speech  and  in  his  movements,  and  quite 
a  philosopher  in  his  way.  He  is  a  good  mechanic  ;.  keeps  right 
along  at  his  work ;  never  allows  anything  to  disturb  his  equi- 
librium, and  never  frets  over  "  what  might  have  been  !  "  He  is 
a  quiet,  cool,  conservative,  pleasant  man  and  a  good  citizen. 


Mr.  Ramsey,  brother  of  Hon.  Alexander  Ramsey,  was  born 
in  Pennsylvania  near  Harrisburg,  in  1821;  was  early  left  an 
orphan  ;  received  a  common  school  education  ;  learned  the  trade 
of  a  printer ;  carried  the  chain  in  the  survey  of  the  line  of  the 
Pennsylvania  Railroad  through  the  mountains;  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1849  with  about  $15,000  in  cash;  was  a  member  of  the  Leg- 
islature in  1850-3-7,  and  for  several  years  was  an  agent  of  the 


Soon  after  Mr.  Ramsey's  arrival  in  this  city,  in  connection 
with  his  brother  he  purchased  a  one-quarter  interest  in  Rice  and 
Irvine's  addition  to  St.  Paul,  including  one-quarter  interest  in 
the  old  American  House,  then  partially  completed,  for  ^2,500 — 
the  property  being  jointly  owned  by  the  two  brothers — now  the 
same  property  is  worth  $500,000.  He  also  purchased  outside 
real  estate,  so  that  when  he  died  in  January,  1881,  he  was  worth 

The  will  of  Mr.  Ramsey  bequeathed  to  eight  nieces  and 
nephews,  and  to  the  Catholic  and  Protestant  Orphan  Asylums  of 
St.  Paul,  an  equal  interest  in  his  estate,  or  about  $15,000  apiece, 
and  this  is,  I  believe,  the  first  public  bequest  ever  given  by  any 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  181 

citizen  of  St.  Paul,  although   many  men   have  died  here   much 
richer  than  Mr.  Ramsey  was. 


In  early  days  Mr.  Ramsey  entered  largely  into  social  life, 
but  of  late  years  he  became  more  sedate  and  thoughtful.  He 
was  in  some  respects  a  peculiar  man.  He  was  of  good  size  ; 
bold,  frank  and  devoid  of  show ;  despised  cant  and  hypocrisy ; 
never  wore  an  overcoat  in  the  coldest  of  weather  during  his  res- 
idence in  Minnesota,  except  once  or  twice ;  was  frugal  in  dress 
and  in  every  other  way  in  the  expenditure  of  his  money,  and 
yet  he  quietly  gave  considerable  to  the  needy.  He  usually 
walked  with  his  hands  in  his  pockets,  and  for  twelve  years  made 
one  room  in  this  city  his  home.  He  was  an  unmarried  man,  and 
so  far  as  I  can  learn,  had  no  entangling  matrimonial  alliances. 
He  was  a  mason  and  had  taken  the  thirty-second  degree. 


For  several  years  Mr.  Ramsey  had  been  afflicted  with  dys- 
pepsia and  it  had  grown  upon  him  to  such  an  extent  that  it 
affected  his  mind.  Meeting  him  soon  after  his  brother  was 
brought  out  in  the  newspapers  for  Senator,  he  exclaimed — "  Why 
do  you  do  that !  Why  do  you  do  that !  Aleck  is  a  bankrupt ! 
can't  raise  ^3,000  in  the  world !  he  ought  to  keep  out  of  politics 
and  attend  to  his  business  !  he's  a  poor  man  !  a  poor  man  !  "  His 
indignant  look  and  vehement  expression  clearly  showed  that 
something  was  wrong.  Then  again,  just  before  his  death,  a 
friend  informed  him  that  he  had  better  go  to  Florida  and  eat 
fruit.  "  Can't  do  it!  can't  do  it!  "  he  exclaimed — "  I'm  too  poor! 
Havn't  any  money !  can't  buy  fruit !  "  The  evening  before  his 
death  he  partook  of  California  wine  and  cake,  and  it  was  noticed 
that  his  voice  had  a  sorrowful  tone.  Then  he  was  worried  over 
a  suit  of  the  government  which  had  been  brought  to  recover  on 
an  officer's  bond,  and  as  Mr.  Ramsey  was  one  of  the  bondsmen, 
he  was  afraid  he  would  be  obliged  to  pay  ^20,000.  These  things 
no  doubt  had  something  to  do  in  unsettling  his  mind.  He  w^as 
found  dead  in  his  room,  January  24,  1 881,  and  thus  passed  into 
history  all  that  remained  of  Justus  C.  Ramsey,  except  his  noble 


gift  to  the  little  orphans,  and  that  will  ever  remain  green  and 
grand  in  the  ever  grateful  present  and  the  coming  future. 


These  two  gentlemen  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849.  Charles 
was  a  butcher,  and  at  one  time  owned  a  good  deal  of  property, 
and  his  real  estate  on  Jackson  street  alone,  if  he  had  held  it, 
would  have  made  him  a  rich  man.  He  was  born  in  Ireland  about 
1825  ;  was  engaged  in  the  lumbering  business  quite  extensively 
in  Maine  and  in  New  Brunswick  ;  on  arriving  at  St.  Paul  entered 
the  cattle  trade ;  then  started  a  store  on  Jackson  street  and  at 
one  time  had  meat  contracts  with  the  government. 

William  Colter  was  born  in  the  north  of  Ireland  in  1833; 
was  educated  at  a  common  school ;  came  to  America  in  1 845  ; 
engaged  in  the  lumbering  business  in  Maine  ;  arrived  at  St.  Paul 
in  1849;  went  on  a  survey;  took  a  contract  for  splitting  rails; 
with  his  brother  engaged  in  the  meat  business ;  shipped  stock 
and  killed  it ;  was  Second  Lieutenant  in  the  Minnesota  Heavy 
Artillery  ;  served  about  one  year ;  health  being  poor  went  to  the 
Pacific  coast,  California,  Australia,  Sandwicli  Islands,  Central 
America,  &c. ;  during  this  trip  engaged  in  mining  enterprises ; 
returned  to  Pittsburg,  Pennsylvania,  where  he  engaged  in  mer- 
cantile pursuits,  but  in  the  crash  of  1873  lost  heavily;  returned 
to  St.  Paul  in  1875  ;  commenced  the  hat,  cap  and  gentlemen's 
furnishing  business  in  1876;  was  burned  out;  went  to  the  Black 
Hills  with  groceries;  and  then  to  Texas  in  1878;  lost  heavily 
there  ;  made  for  Leadville ;  struck  a  streak  of  good  luck  ;  came 
back  with  health  impaired  and  went  to  work  for  the  city  in  1880 ; 
has  been  thus  engaged  for  five  years. 

He  was  at  one  time  quite  well  off,  but  lost  most  of  his  money 
in  endorsing,  and  has  but  little  left  of  the  wreck  of  a  fortune  of 
over  $150,000.  He  procured  a  pension  for  injuries  while  in  the 
army,  and  is  now  contented  with  his  every-day  work,  and  he  does 
work  hard  and  faithfully. 

"  DARK    AS    the    DEVIL." 

Two  topers  went  to  bed  in  a  wayside  inn  one  night  with  the 
understanding  that  they  were  to  be  up  early  in  the  morning  to 
take  the  stage.     One  of  them  arose  about  f^ur  o'clock,  opened 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,^  MINN.  183 

the  blind,  put  his  head  out  into  the  air  and  exclaimed  to  his  half 
awake  companion  : 

*'  John !  it  is  as  dark  as  the  devil — going  to  storm,  and  I 
smell  brimstone !  " 

John  got  up,  and  after  fumbling  around  for  a  while,  stuck 
his  head  out  of  the  window  and  remarked  to  Jim : 

"  Well,  old  boy,  it  is  pretty  dark  ;  I  guess  the  storm  is  com- 
ing, but  I  smell  cheese  !  " 

They  both  had  stuck  their  heads  into  a  cupboard  instead  of 
out  of  a  window,  while  the  sun  was  shining  brightly,  the  birds 
were  singing  gaily  and  the  stage  had  been  gone  several  hours ! 

Colter  says  he  thought  it  was  pretty  black  when  he  thrust 
his  head  out  into  the  financial  sky  in  1873,  and  he  is  quite  sure 
he  smelt  brimstone !  He  is  a  social,  pleasant  man,  and  has 
arrived  at  that  stage  of  life  when  philosophy  usurps  the  gay 
dreams  of  youth  and  tones  the  ardor  of  more  mature  manhood. 


Born  in  Vermont  in  1822  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849;  was 
among  the  first  painters  in  the  city  ;  enlisted  in  the  Union  army 
for  ninety  days  ;  then  for  three  years,  and  went  through  all  the 
battles  without  a  scratch ;  at  the  end  of  his  time  he  re-enlisted, 
and  lost  his  leg  in  the  first  engagement.  Mr.  Sherman  is  a  bach- 
elor, quiet,  modest,  and  very  retiring  in  his  nature.  He  has  been 
connected  with  the  insurance  business,  and  is  a  striking  illustra- 
tion of  the  poetical  expression : 

'•  P'ull  many  a  flower  is  born  to  blush  unseen, 
And  waste  its  fragrance  on  the  desert  air." 

He  is  a  good  citizen  and  a  good  man. 


Mr.  Selby  was  born  in  Ohio  in  1812  ;  was  for  many  years  a 
resident  of  St.  Louis  and  Cincinnati,  and  in  the  latter  city  was  a 
partner  in  a  large  commission  house.  Sickness  induced  him  to 
come  to  Minnesota,  and  he  settled  in  St.  Paul  in  1849. 

He  purchased  ten  acres  on  St.  Anthony  hill  running  from 
College  avenue  back  upon  to  the  hill,  for  ;^200,  orten  dollars  per 
acre,  and  this  he  put  under  cultivation,  raising  potatoes  and  gar- 


den  vegetables.  James  K.  Humphrey,  Esq.,  advanced  him  the 
money  to  make  this  purchase,  he  having  invested  his  surphis  funds 
in  merchandise,  etc.,  and  before  he  had  fully  closed  the  trade  he 
was  offered  ;$i,000  for  his  bargain,  but  he  erected  a  small  house 
upon  the  ground  and  kept  the  property  until  he  sold  all  his  land 
below  Summit  avenue  (reserving  that  above,)  for  a  sum  of  money 
sufficient  to  enable  him  to  erect  his  brick  homestead  where  the 
Kittson  mansion  now  stands,  well  known  to  old  settlers.  In  1850 
he  bought  forty  acres  lying  back  and  west  of  his  original  pur- 
chase, for  which  he  paid  fifty  dollars  per  acre.  This  land  was 
then  covered  with  trees  and  underbrush,  which  he  cleared  and 
cultivated.  The  same  property  is  worth  now  ;^io,ooo  per  acre, 
or  in  the  aggregate  $800,000.  At  the  time  he  made  his  first  pur- 
chase there  were  only  one  or  two  houses  above  Seven  Corners, 
while  now  it  has  some  of  the  handsomest  dwellings  in  the  city. 

OFFICES    HELD,  AND    AS    A    MAN. 

He  was  a  member  of  the  Legislature  in  1852,  City  Assessor,, 
member  of  the  Board  of  County  Commissioners,  and  a  leading 
elder  in  the  First  Presbyterian  Church. 

Mr.  Selby  was  a  man  of  medium  size  and  rather  slender ; 
had  sharp  features,  a  clean-cut  nose,  and  reminded  one  of  a  New 
England  Yankee.  He  was  very  industrious,  economical  and 
thrifty.  He  obtained  quite  a  living  from  his  .garden,  and  that 
with  the  sale  of  part  of  his  land,  made  him  at  the  time  he  died,, 
comfortably  well  off.  He  was  a  conscientious,  liberal-minded,  high- 
toned  gentleman,  and  was  universally  respected  by  the  commun- 
ity. He  died  of  a  tumor  in  the  stomach  on  the  nth  of  April, 
1855,  aged  forty-three  years,  and  very  (e\v  men  have  left  behind 
them  a  better  record  or  a  better  name  than  that  of  J.  W.  Selby. 


Mrs.  Selby  may  very  justly  be  classed  among  the  old  set- 
tlers, and  one  who  did  her  share  towards  moulding  public  senti- 
ment. I  remember  her  as  a  bright,  jovial,  pleasant  woman, 
always  cheerful  and  scattering  sunshine  in  her  path.  She  toiled 
with  her  husband  to  accumulate  their  property,  and  after  his 
death  visited  Europe  and  thc.i  married  her  old  lover,  now  Senator 
Conger  from  Michigan. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  TS5 

In  early  days  the  writer  advocated  the  principles  of  temper- 
ance strongly,  and  on  the  incoming  of  the  New  Year  he  sug- 
gested that  the  ladies  present  nothing  to  their  gentlemen  friends 
stronger  than  coffee,  so  Mrs.  Selby,  in  the  goodness  of  her  heart, 
set  a  special  table  for  my  benefit,  in  which  coffee  was  to  be  the 
leading  feature,  but  unfortunately  I  was  prevented  from  making 
my  New  Year  calls,  and  during  all  these  long  years  I  have  been 
regretting  the  loss  of  that  delicious  coffee  which  was  intended  as 
a  compliment  to  my  temperance  principles.  The  reader  can  ap- 
preciate this  point  when  he  comes  to  understand  that  intoxicat- 
ing liquor  was  the  universal  rule,  not  the  exception.  Mrs.  S.  was 
in  favor  of  every  good  movement  to  benefit  the  public,  and 
although  now  a  resident  of  another  State,  yet  she  makes  her 
yearly  pilgrimage  to  this  city  in  order  to  live  over  again  her 
young  married  life. 


An  old  straggler  has  just  come  into  headquarters  and  reports 
that  he  was  born  in  France  in  1812  ;  that  he  was  in  the  employ 
of  the  French  Government  as  a  police  officer  for  fourteen  years ; 
that  in  1848  he  emigrated  to  this  country  and  landed  in  New 
Orleans  ;  that  he  arrived  at  St.  Paul  in  1 849,  or  36  years  ago  ; 
that  he  embarked  in  the  Indian  trade,  as  at  that  early  period 
there  were  only  a  few  houses  where  now  stands  St.  Paul,  and 
the  balance  of  the  population  was  made  up  of  red  men  who 
occupied  a  good  many  tepees.  He  states  that  then  there  were 
hills,  and  valleys,  and  running  streams,  and  brush,  and  trees, 
and  rocks,  where  this  city  now  rises  into  greatness  and  into  gran- 
deur, and  that  nobody  could  even  imagine  at  that  early  day  that 
St.  Paul  could  by  any  possibility  grow  into  a  respectable  sized 
village,  to  say  nothing  of  a  city  of  1 20,000  people !  and  yet,  he 
says,  here  it  is.     And  look  at 

the  contrast. 

There,  nestling  in  modesty  on  Sixth  street,  and  meditating 
on  the  past,  is  a  little  one  story  and  a  half  French  building,  the 
oldest  dwelling  house  in  the  city  of  St.  Paul,  while  just  to  the 
right  of  it,  fronting  on  Robert  street,  is  the  elegant  seven-story 
edifice  of  the  Chamber  of  Commerce,  and  diagonally  across  from 


this  fine  specimen  of  architecture  rises  into  majesty  and  into 
beauty  the  new  $1,000,000  hotel!  The  httle  brown  house  now 
forty-six  years  old,  looks  out  upon  the  scene  with  wonderment! 
When  it  first  reared  its  head  into  civilization,  how  proud  and 
grand  it  was  !  How  it  loomed  up  against  the  board  shanties  and 
wigwams  of  decaying  barbarism  !  How  the  owner  and  his  wife — 
both  gone  into  the  land  of  dreams — praised,  and  petted,  and 
admired  it !  How  visitors  snugged  down  in  its  cozy  parlor  and 
laughed  at  the  beating  storm  that  howled  on  the  outside  !  How 
the  green  vines  twined  their  loving  arms  about  its  broad,  square, 
good-natured  face  and  peeked  in  at  the  window !  And  how  little 
children  gazed  up  in  awe  at  its  massive  height!  Poor  little, hum- 
ble nobody  now !  You  live  only  in  the  shadows  of  the  "great 
buildings  that  frown  down  upon  you !  They  hardly  know  you 
by  reputation,  and  if  they  did  know  you  they  would  care  less 
for  you!  To  them  the  past  is  nothing!  What  of  to-day?  What 
of  next  year  ?  and  so  time  comes  and  goes,  and  by  and  by,  and 
very  soon  too,  the  little  old  brown  house  will  be  missed  from  its 
accustomed  place ;  its  old  tired  and  wearied  timbers  will  be  car- 
ried to  their  long  home  and  only  history  will  drop  a  tear  over  its 
memory ! 

"Just  so!"  said  the  aged  Frenchman, — "just  so,"  and  I  saw 
a  red  handkerchief  in  his  hand,  and  a  little  black  speck  in  his 
eye,  and  a  tear  upon  his  cheek,  and  turning  he  gazed  for  a 
moment  upon  the  little  unpretending  brown  house  and  then  upon 
the  great  mass  of  brick  that  towered  heavenward  on  the  opposite 
corner,  and  moving  away  with  tottering  steps,  I  heard  him  mut- 
tering— "  Yes,  the  contrast ! — I  see  it ! — ^just  so  ! — ^just  so !  "  And 
his  form  faded,  faded,  faded — and  was — gone — forever  1 

V^.  H.  TINKER. 

Mr.  T.  was  born  in  Connecticut  in  181 3;  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1849;  opened  a  tailor's  shop  on  Third  street,  and  continued 
the  business  up  to  1854,  when,  in  company  with  T.  M.  Metcalf, 
he  engaged  in  the  grocery  trade  in  a  store  on  Third  street,  near 
Wabasha,  and  after  a  continuance  of  several  years  in  this  busi- 
ness, gave  it  up  and  clerked  for  S.  P.  Folsom  &  Co.,  and  was  also 
in  the  Recorder's  and  Marshal's  offices.  Of  late  years  Mr. 
Tinker  has  been  doing  very  little,  as  he  has  passed  three  score 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  187 

and  ten,  and  enjoys  more  keenly  the  old  rocking-chair  by  the 
parlor  stove  than  a  tustle  with  the  affairs  of  life  on  the  outside 
with  the  thermometer  forty  degrees  below  zero.  He  purchased 
in  1 85 1  eight  acres  lying  between  Thirteenth  and  Fifteenth  streets, 
for  which  he  paid  $284;  worth  now  ^50,000.  He  is  a  small, 
thin  man  ;  moderate  in  his  movements  and  very  quiet  in  his  con- 
versation, and  is  also  a  man  of  a  good  deal  of  ability,  and  has 
only  been  waiting  for  an  opportunity  to  show  the  world  what  he 
could  have  done — had  he  a  chance.     But  it  never  came. 


Mr.  Spicer  was  a  tall,  gaunt  man,  and  very  quiet  in  his  ways. 
He  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849  ^^^  opened  a  jewelry  store,  prob- 
ably among  the  very  first  established  in  the  city,  and  located  on 
Third  street.  He  was  a  person  of  which  but  little  can  be  said, 
except  that  he  attended  to  his  business,  was  a  good  workman  and 
a  good  citizen.  Where  born  or  when  born  I  do  not  know,  but 
if  living  he  must  be  about  sixty-five  years  of  age. 


"  I  heard  Mr.  Duday  speak  of  you  yesterday  in  terms  of 
panegyrical  encomium,"  remarked  the  high-school  girl  to  her 
dearest  friend. 

*'  And  what  did  you  say  ?  " 

"  I  coincided  with  his  laudations." 

"  Well,  I  always  thought  you  were  a  friend  of  mine,  but  if 
you  allow  people  to  speak  about  me  like  that  without  saying  a 
word,  ril  never  speak  to  you  again,  you  hateful  thing.  So 
there ! " 

"  So  there ! "  kind  reader,  if  you  become  offended  by  my 
**  panegyrical  encomiums,"  you  can  take  revenge  upon  me  by  never 
speaking  to  me  again.  But  I  feel  pretty  safe,  even  if  the  school- 
girl did  go  back  upon  her  friend.     "  So  there." 


Mr.  Groff  was  a  painter  by  trade,  and  in  early  days  was  a 
very  ardent  Republican,  and  on  the  subject  of  politics  he  was 
most  decided.  At  one  time  he  had  property  in  this  city  which 
is  now  quite  valuable.     Fate  turned  against  him,  and  his  health 


failing,  he  struggled  on  manfully  ;  was  at  one  time  a  member  of 
the  drug  firm  of  Wren,  Groff  &  Regally,  finally  began  the  man- 
ufacture of  what  is  now  known  as  the  Snow-Flake  Baking  Pow- 
der, and  when  fully  perfected,  he  died.  The  receipt  for  making 
the  same  passed  into  the  hands  of  his  son  Charles,  and  Mr. 
Groff's  name  is  now  found  in  many  a  household.  He  was  a  man 
of  ordinary  size  ;  somewhat  irritable  over  the  mishaps  of  life,  yet 
generous  and  good-hearted.  He  was  born  near  Troy,  N.  Y.,  in 
1821  ;  educated  there,  and  taught  school  in  Kentucky  and  Vir- 
ginia ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1 849 ;  ran  the  old  Mississippi  House 
for  a  time;  dealt  in  real  estate;  in  company  with  others  laid  out 
and  was  an  owner  in  the  town  sites  of  Carver,  Belle  Plaine,  and 
other  places  ;  was  landlord  of  the  Snelling  House  ;  aided  in  issu- 
ing a  directory  ;  was  a  broker  for  a  year  or  so  on  Jackson  street ; 
started  the  Snow-Flake  Baking  Powder  in  1862;  died  in  1876, 
aged  fifty-five  years.  His  son,  Charles  R.  Groff,  now  carries  on 
the  business  on  a  large  scale. 

p.  p.  BISHOP. 

Mr.  Bishop  was  a  young  lawyer  of  considerable  ability  and 
possessed  a  great  amount  of  splendid  mother-wit.  He  figured  in 
early  days  with  such  men  as  E.  Rice,  HoUinshead,  Becker,  etc., 
and  took  rank  with  any  of  them.  He  was  a  cousin  of  the  late 
Mrs.  McConkey,  nee  Miss  Harriet  Bishop,  and  was  noted  for  his 
unusually  bright  and  talented  mind.  He  was  born  in  Vermont 
in  1825;  received  a  good  education  and  graduated  at  college; 
studied  law  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1849,  where  he  practiced  his 
profession.     In  a  letter  to  Gov.  Marshall,  his  old  friend,  he  writes  : 

**  Twelve  years  of  my  life — from  the  age  of  twenty  to  the  age  of  thirty-two^ 
were  thrown  away  for  the  most  part,  because  I  kept  no  remote  eqd  in  view,  and 
maintained  no  paramount  rule  of  conduct,  but  permitted  myself  to  be  governed  by 
the  impulses  which  happened  to  be  stirred  within  me." 

Conscious  of  this  fact,  Mr.  Bishop  decided  to  become  a 
Christian,  and  so  announced  his  decision  at  "a  little  prayer-meeting 
in  the  Baptist  Church"  of  this  city,  and  following  this  he  took  a 
two-years'  course  of  study  in  the  Theological  Department  of  tbe 
Madison  University ;  graduated  in  1858;  married  Miss  Sophia 
M.  Lathrop,  of  Hamilton,  N.  Y. ;  settled  as  a  pastor  of  the  Bap- 
tist Church  at  Burlington,  la.;  was  pastor  of  the  First  Baptist 


Church  of  Auburn,  N.  Y,,  from  i860  to  1868  ;  went  from  thence 
on  account  of  ill-health,  as  general  missionary  for  the  State  of 
Florida;  in  1872  closed  his  engagement  with  the  missionary 
society  ;  purchased  6,000  acres  of  a  wild  orange  grove  on  credit ; 
enlisted  capital;  has  done  well,  and  his  income  is  now;^5,ooo  per 
year  above  the  interest  money  paid  upon  the  land.  In  1 876  he 
took  a  very  active  part  against  the  carpet-baggers  in  Florida,  and 
was  elected  to  the  Legislature  ;  attended  the  last  two  Democratic 
conventions,  and  could  have  been  elected  to  Congress  if  he  had 
consented  to  serve.  He  is  in  a  good  condition  financially  and 
fills  up  his  spare  time  with  literary  labors.  I  did  not  know  Mr. 
Bishop  personally,  but  all  his  old  Minnesota  friends  will  be 
glad  to  read  this  flattering  account  of  his  checkered  career. 


Was  born  in  1 819,  at  Windham,  Connecticut,  and  received 
his  early  education  there.  When  a  young  man  he  was  employed 
much  of  the  time  as  agent  for  new  publications  and  traveled 
extensively  throughout  the  New  England  and  the  Middle  States. 
At  the  commencement  of  the  Mexican  campaign  he  entered  Com- 
pany H,  Fifth  Infantry,  and  served  through  the  war;  came  to 
St.  Paul  from  New  Orleans  in  1849  ;  was  commission  merchant; 
had  a  store  near  the  upper  steamboat  landing,  and  had  charge 
of  two  warehouses  there;  left  St.  Paul  in  the  fall  of  1852  and 
went  to  Kasota,  where  he  made  a  claim  before  the  treaty  was 
ratified  and  while  Red  Iron's  band  of  Indians  was  still  there  ; 
in  the  spring  of  1853  he  laid  out  the  town  of  Kasota;  built  a 
saw  mill,  and  in  company  with  George  Marsh,  now  of  Mankato, 
obtained  a  contract  to  carry  the  mail  from  St.  Paul  to  Sioux 
City  for  three  years.  Financially  he  never  recovered  fully  from 
the  crash  of  1857.  He  opened  the  Kasota  stone  quarries  in 
1869,  and  died  at  his  residence  in  Kasota  on  the  15th  of  Febru- 
ary, 1882,  aged  sixty-three  years. 

Mr.  Babcock  was  a  man  of  medium  size ;  very  active  and 
had  a  habit  of  shrugging  his  shoulders  and  hitching  up  his  pants. 
He  was  full  of  business,  but  adverse  circumstances  overtook  him 
as  they  overtook  many  others,  and  he  went  down  in  the  financial 
crash  of  1857,  and  never  fully  gained  his  feet.     He  has  a  son, 


who  succeeded  his  father  in  the  stone  quarry  business,  and  who 
resides  at  Kasota. 


Mr.  Semper  was  born  in  Canada  in  1844;  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1849,  or  thirty-six  years  ago,  and  was  educated  here  ;  enhsted 
in  Brackett's  BatalHon  and  served  through  the  war  ;  also  went 
out  with  Capt.  Fisk  on  his  trip  to  Montana,  and  when  Fisk  of- 
fered a  reward  of  $2$  for  the  first  Indian  scalp.  Semper  brought 
it  in  with  the  head  attached ;  he  at  one  time  lived  at  Little  Can- 
ada ;  then  for  eight  years  was  in  the  employ  of  Day  &  Jenks ; 
also  in  that  of  the  late  H.  B.  Harwood,  Wyman  &  Mullen,  and 
finally  with  Lanpher,  Finch  &  Skinner,  with  whom  he  remained 
up  to  his  death.  Mr.  Semper  was  a  heavy  man,  well  and  favor- 
ably known  among  the  traveling  men,  and  at  one  time  had  a 
brother  in  the  shoe  business  on  Third  street.  He  was  a  gentle- 
man of  good  traits  of  character,  kind,  considerate,  honest,  manly. 


Son  of  Luke  Murphy,  was  born  at  Fort  Snelling  in  1849; 
removed  to  St.  Paul  with  his  family  the  same  year  ;  was  edu- 
cated here  and  learned  the  trade  of  a  painter,  and  is  now  em- 
ployed in  the  Manitoba  paint  shops.  He  is  a  bright  middle-aged 
man  and  very  worthy,  and  well  learned  in  his  business. 


Mrs.  Stoakes  was  born  in  the  State  of  New  York  in  181 2; 
lived  in  Western  New  York  for  some  years ;  resided  a  short  time 
in  Illinois,  then  at  Prairie  du  Chien,  when,  in  1849  she  came  to 
St.  Paul  and  opened  a  millinery  store  on  the  corner  of  Third 
and  Washington  streets,  south  side.  She  established  the  first 
regular  millinery  establishment  in  the  city,  although  millinery  on 
a  limited  scale  was  carried  on  by  another  party.  She  remained 
in  the  city  eighteen  years,  when  she  removed  to  Montana  in  1867, 
going  by  railroad  and  coach  to  Sioux  City,  and  then  by  Missouri 
river  to  Fort  Benton,  and  was  forty-seven  days  on  the  steamer 
from  Sioux  City  to  Fort  Benton.  She  has  property  in  the  city, 
and  returns  to  St.  Paul  almost  every  year  to  give  it  attention 
and    see    her  old    friends.     She    is  a  woman  of  strong  business 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  191 

characteristics,  quietly  spoken,  and  ranks  among  the  most  re- 
spected of  the  old  settlers.  She  has  one  daughter  who  married 
a  Mr.  Cullen,  a  leading  attorney  of  Montana. 


Mr,  Robert  is  a  brother  of  the  late  Capt.  Louis  Robert,  and 
was  born  in  Missouri  in   1827;    worked  on  a  farm  up  to  1844; 
removed  to  Prairie  du  Chien;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1845,  and  was 
for  a  short  time  engaged  with  his  brother  in  a  store ;    the  same 
year  went  to  the  Red  River  of  the  North  with  three  carts  loaded 
with  goods,  and  an  Indian  pony;  traded  there  until  1849,  when 
he  returned  to  St.  Paul  and  took  charge  of  the  transportation 
of  the  goods  of  the  Winnebago  Indians  to  Long  Prairie;  bought 
a  store  at   Swan  river  and  commenced   trading ;    ran  it  for  two 
years;    began  freighting  in  1853-4,  '^^^  i^  1^59  took  a  contract 
to  carry  goods  and  emigrants  from  St.  Paul  to  St.  Anthony,  Crow 
Wing  and  other  points  in  the  Territory  ;  then  bought  lands  in 
various  parts  of  Minnesota,  having  made  no  money  in  the  Indian 
trade,  probably  being  too  honest ;     in  1 860  was  connected  with 
his  brother  in  the  Indian  business.     He  was  on  his  way  to  one 
of  his  brother's  trading  posts  when  he  was  informed  that  the  In- 
dians had  broken  out  and  were  killing  the  settlers.     He  rode  out 
from  New  Ulm  near  enough  to  satisfy  himself  that  this  was  the 
fact,  when  he  turned  and  gave  the  settlers  warning ;    re-entered 
New  Ulm;  was  a  bearer  of  dispatches  to  Gen.  Sibley;  returned 
and  was  in  and  about  New  Ulm  seventeen  days,  and  engaged  in 
the  fight  there  two  days.     In  the  fall  of  1 862  (speaking  the  Chip- 
pewa language    'eadily,)  he  commenced  trading  with  that  tribe 
at  Mille  Lac.     He  continued  there  up  to  1882,  when  he  returned 
to  St.  Paul,  where  he  has  remained  ever  since.     In  1865  he  went 
through  to  Vermillion  lake  for  a  New  York  company,  with  seven 
teams.     He  has  always  resided  in  St.  Paul  with  his  family,  from 
1849  up  to  1885,  though  he  has  at  different  times  been  abseh-.  on 
business,  and  spends  his  summers  at  his  country  residence  on  the 
shores  of  Bald  Eagle  lake. 


In   1884  Mr.   Robert    visited   Washington    and    spent   two 
months  fighting  for  the  rights  of  the  Indians,  as  a  decision  had 


been  made  that  the  whites  had  a  right  to  go  on  to  the  Indian  res- 
ervation and  make  homesteads.  It  was  through  Mr.  Robert's 
influence  that  this  decision  was  revoked,  and  now  he  finds  that 
the  white  settlers  who  went  on  to  the  land  in  good  faith  under  the 
decision  of  the  government,  are  ordered  to  leave  without  any 
redress,  and  he  thinks  this  a  great  wrong ;  that  their  money 
ought  to  be  refunded  and  they  recompensed  for  their  loss.  And 
Mr.  Robert  is  right. - 


In  1845,  or  forty  years  ago,  Mr.  Robert  ploughed  a  field  of 
about  twenty  acres  then  fenced,  running  from  Third  street  back 
to  nearly  Sixth  street,  and  from  half  way  to  Minnesota  one  way 
and  half  way  to  Jackson  the  other,  and  in  this  field  he  planted 
oats  and  raised  a  good  crop.  The  street  where  he  raised  the  oats 
has  just  been  paved.  The  twenty  acres  cost  his  brother  about 
;^300;  worth  now  upward  of  $2,000,000!  At  this  time  there 
were  about  ten  families  in  the  place,  and  not  to  exceed  fifty  white 
people.  Mr.  Robert  has  been  an  important  interpreter  for  the 
Chippewa  Indians;  was  elected  Alderman  of  St.  Paul  in  1881, 
and  re-elected  in  1883,  serving  two  terms  ;  was  on  the  park  com- 
mittee, and  was  also  on  the  committee  appointed  to  receive  Villard 
and  President  Arthur.  He  is  a  tall,  muscular  man,  somewhat 
commanding  in  his  appearance,  well  preserved  physically  and  dif- 
fering from  an  ordinary  Frenchman  in  that  he  is  moderate  in  his 
conversation  and  in  his  manners,  and  yet  he  is  a  man  of  activity 
and  great  endurance,  as  a  checkered  life  of  some  forty  years  in 
Minnesota  clearly  shows.  He  is  social,  pleasant,  honest;  a  great 
friend  of  the  Indians  and  a  great  friend  of  humanity  generally. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN,  293 



Mrst   Mayor— Fir?t  Brick  Store— First  Thanksgiving— First  Theatricals— First 

Bowling    Alley — First    Lithograph — First    Express — First    Messenger — 

First  Fresh  and  Shell  Oysters — First  Photographer — First  Carbon  Oil — 

First  Fire — First  Church  Bell — First  Court  House — First  Episcopal 

Church — First    Directory — First   Appearance  of    Cholera — 

First    Presbyterian    Church    Organized — First   Term  of 

Court  in  Ramsey  County — First  President  Chamber 

of  Co  miner  ce — First  Daguerrean  Artist — 

Embracing  all  the  Events  and 

Incidents  of  this  Year. 

NEW  year's  calls BALLS. 

The  first  of  the  year  opened  up  auspiciously  for  the  intro- 
duction of  the  social  amenities  of  life.  New  Year's  calls  were 
very  generally  indulged  in  and  many  a  side-board  glistened  with 
free  entertainment,  which  at  the  present  day  would  make  the 
ordinary  tramp  smack  his  lips.  The  people  began  to  put  on 
style.  On  the  evening  of  January  i,  1850,  a  ball  was  giv^en  at 
the  Central  House,  which  building  then  stood  on  Bench  street, 
at  the  foot  of  Robert,  and  was  attended  by  one  hundred  gentle- 
men, and  almost  as  many  ladies.  On  the  22d  of  February,  or 
Washington's  birthday,  another  ball  was  given  at  the  American 
House,  which  eclipsed  all  previous  attempts  in  this  line.  A  band 
of  music  was  in  attendance,  and  about  eighty  persons  enjoyed 
the  occasion.  In  fact  all  through  the  winter  of  1850  balls  and 
social  festivities  ruled  the  hour. 



I  find  no  remarkable  events  transpiring  during  the  year 
1850.  The  place  then  was  celebrated  as  it  is  now  for  its  great 
number  of  lawyers,  tliere  being  at  this  time  twenty-five.  In 
November,  1849,  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  was  organized, 
with  Rev.  E,  D.  Neill  as  pastor,  one  of  Minnesota's  best  known 
old  pioneers,  and  the  church  began  this  year  to  assume  form 
and  shape.  Three  schools  were  also  in  progress.  The  Legis- 
lature met  for  the  second  time  in  January,  1850,  in  the  old  Rice 
House,  Third  street,  corner  Washington,  now  occupied  by  Metro- 
politan hotel.  The  first  term  of  court  for  Ramsey  County  was 
held.  Mr.  Neill's  chapel  was  burned  in  April.  Population,  1,290. 
Christ's  Church  organized  ;  cholera  appears  ;  Fredricka  Bremer 
visits  the  city ;  building  of  Court  House  commenced;  County 
Jail  built,  and  the  first  Thanksgiving  celebrated.  Society  seemed 
to  be  quietly  moulding  itself  to  civilization,  and  yet  there  are  no 
startling  events  to  make  the  year  1850  memorable. 


In  1850  there  were  sixteen  post  offices  in  the  Territory  of 
Minnesota;  in  1883  there  were  10,084  i^"!  the  State ;  in  1850 
36,400  letters  passed  through  our  post  office  during  the  year;  in 
1883  7,146,883  letters  passed  through  the  post  office  in  the  same 
length  of  time ;  or  700  letters  passed  through  the  post  office  per 
week  in  1850,  and  137,443  passed  through  the  post  office  per 
week  in  1883,  a  gain  of  136,743  per  week  over  1850,  Letters 
then  were  one  month  on  the  way  from  Washington ;  now  they 
are  four  or  five  days. 


Mr.  Elfelt  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1827  and  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1850,  or  thirty-five  years  ago.  He,  with  his  broth- 
ers, opened  the  first  dry-goods  house  in  this  city  in  1849,  he 
being  then  in  Philadelphia  and  they  here,  and  their  building 
stood  at  the  foot  of  Eagle  street,  near  the  upper  levee,  and  where 
the  Minnesota  Soap  Company  now  have  a  large  establishment. 
Then,  he  and  his  brothers,  in  1851,  erected  the  present  large 
building  corner  of   Third  and   Exchange  streets.     This  at  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  195 

time  it  was  erected,  was  the  largest  building  in  the  city  and  called 
out  a  good  many  citizens  to  aid  in  lifting  the  frame.  The  upper 
part  of  the  building  was  known  as  Mazourka  Hall,  and  in  this 
hall  the  first  theatrical  representations  in  the  city  were  given. 
The  glass,  and  nails,  and  paints  used,  were  transported  800 
miles,  and  laborers  were  paid  five  dollars  per  day.  The  building 
at  first  was  stocked  with  dry-goods  and  groceries,  but  subse- 
quently was  devoted  exclusively  to  dry-goods.  Mr.  Elfelt  con- 
tinued in  the  dry-goods  trade  for  about  seventeen  years,  when  he 
became  interested  in  real  estate  and  has  more  or  less  ever  since 
followed  this  branch  of  business.  He  originated  the  first  Board 
of  Trade,  in  1864,  and  was  one  of  the  first  directors,  and  on  that 
being  merged  into  the  Chamber  of  Commerce  he  became  a 
member  of  that  body  and  subsequently  a  director.  He  has  spent 
a  great  deal  of  his  time  gratuitously  in  fostering  immigration, 
sending  away  pamphlets,  etc.,  and  has  taken  especial  interest  in 
the  building  and  completion  of  the  Northern  Pacific  Railroad, 
having  great  faith  that  this  line  of  road  would  add  to  the  devel- 
opment of  the  city  and  the  State.  As  a  mark  of  appreciation  the 
Chamber  of  Commerce  passed  unanimously  a  vote  of  thanks  to 
Mr.  Elfelt  for  his  labors  in  behalf  of  immigration.  In  1850  Mr. 
Elfelt  purchased  sixteen  lots  for  ;$8oo,  which  he  still  owns  ;  worth 
now  ;^ 2 5,000. 


He  is  a  small  man  with  black  hair  and  whiskers,  and  speaks 
quite  earnestly.  He  usually  wears  a  silk  hat,  sometimes  eye-glass- 
es, and  is  uniformly  neat  in  his  dress.  He  is  enthusiastically  inter- 
ested in  everything  that  will  advance  the  interests  of  St.  Paul. 
For  thirty-five  years  he  has  traveled  the  streets  of  St.  Paul  and 
has  seen  the  growth  of  the  city  from  mere  nothing  to  what  it  is 
to-day.  He  is  quiet,  gentlemanly,  full  of  good  humor,  smokes 
a  good  deal,  always  ready  to  talk,  but  when  he  talks  it  is  with 
great  earnestness.  He  is  kind-hearted,  very  sympathetic,  and  is 
just  the  kind  of  man  to  possess  a  fortune,  for  I  know  if  he  had 
it  he  would  do  a  great  deal  of  good  with  it.  He  is  an  honorable 
gentleman,  frank,  social,  impulsive,  and  is  universally  esteemed 
for  his  many  good  qualities.  Mr.  E.  holds  ^t  present  no  public 
position  except  that  he  is  a  life  member  of  the  Historical  Society, 



and  was  the  first  to  contribute  towards  the  purchase  of  a  lot  now 
owned  by  the  association. 


The  Winnebago  Indians  became  dissatisfied  with  their  reser- 
vation this  year,  and  visited  Gov.  Ramsey  to  '*  talk  "  over  the 
matter.  A  grand  council  was  held  in  a  large  warehouse  in  this 
city,  and  among  some  of  the  most  noted  braves  thus  gathered, 
Gov.  Ramsey  took  his  place  as  ''  the  noblest  Roman  of  them 
all."  After  matters  had  been  amicably  adjusted  to  the  satisfac- 
tion of  the  chiefs,  the  Governor  arose  and  in  his  bland  and  most 
genial  manner,  impressed  upon  the  savages  the  importance  of 
leaving  whisky  alone  and  becoming  a  temperance  people,  and  in 
order  to  clinch  his  argument  he  said — "  The  white  man  has 
quit  drinking  ! — in  a  great  measure  !  "  The  interpreter  made 
him  say,  "  in  a  large-sized  vessel,"  when  one  of  the  old  chiefs 
exclaimed — "  That  may  be  very  true,  but  Indian  see  white  man 
drink  out  of  small  measure  very  often."  The  Governor  turned 
and  remarked — "That  may  possibly  be  correct! — the  Indian 
may  possibly  be  right ;  he  probably  is,  but  then  the  Indian 
should  be  careful  and  avoid  the  bad  habits  of  the  whites,  not 
imitating  them  in  any  measure,  especially  in  this  matter  of 
whisky  drinking."  It  was  a  neat  affair  all  around,  and  highly 
edifying  to  the  Indian  traders  and  interpreters,  who,  of  course, 
were  strictly  temperance  men,  and  who  were  rejoiced  to  find  the 
Governor  on  their  side  ! 


Taylor  was  a  colored  man,  and  if  my  memory  serves  me  he 
was  a  barber.  At  any  rate  he  was  a  good  performer  on  the  fid- 
dle or  violin,  and  was  a  great  favorite  at  balls  and  parties.  He 
was  a  fine-looking  fellow,  large,  portly,  well-dressed,  easy  in  his 
manners,  and  possessed  of  a  pleasant  and  musical  voice.  "  Bal- 
ance partners,"  would  echo  through  the  hall  like  the  sweet  strains 
from  an  /Eolian  harp,  and  everybody  was  happy  when  **  Bill  Tay- 
lor "  did  the  calling.  He  was  a  general  favorite  among  his  own 
people,  and  was  very  much  liked  by  the  whites.  He  lived  just 
back  of  the  jail  on  Fifth  street,  where  his  widow  did  reside  until 
1885,  when  she   sold  to   Mr.   Capchart  for  $8,030  and  the  old 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  197 

homestead  has  gone.  Taylor,  like  many  others,  always  attended 
the  Indian  payments,  and  while  at  Yellow  Medicine  in  1862, 
waiting  for  the  money  to  arrive,  the  Indians,  under  Little  Crow, 
made  their  outbreak  and  he  was  killed.  Many  old  settlers  remem- 
ber Bill  Taylor  and  all  will  regret  his  untimely  end.  He  came 
to  St.  Paul,  I  think,  in  1850. 


While  this  harmless  old  Indian  woman  had  been  in  the  habit 
of  visiting  St.  Paul  several  years  previous  to  1850,  yet  she 
became  a  sort  of  fixture  in  the  city  that  year,  that  is,  she  was 
among  the  whites  oftener  than  usual,  and  was  more  generally 
known,  in  fact  might  be  rightly  called  one  of  the  old  settlers. 
Her  Sioux  name  was  Aza-ya-man-ka-wan,  or  Berry  Picker.  She 
was  born  near  Mendota  in  1788  ;  died  at  Mendota  in  1873,  aged 
eighty-five  years  ;  was  married  to  Iron  Sword ;  had  several  child- 
ren ;  one  became  a  Christian,  and  a  daughter,  I  believe,  now  lives 
in  St.  Paul.  One  of  her  brothers  was  a  famous  warrior,  prophet 
and  medicine  man,  by  the  name  of  He-in-da-koo.  And  this 
reminds  me  of  the  following  original  Indian  legend  of  Old  Bets, 
which  is  founded  on  facts  in  her  early  life,  gleaned  from  an  old 
Indian  in  1862,  and  which  appears  in  a  volume  by  the  writer, 
entitled  "  Thrilling  Scenes  Among  the  Indians."  I  reproduce  it 
for  the  benefit  of  my  readers. 

OLD  bets. 

(Aza-Ya-Man-Ka-Wan  ;  or  Berry  Picker.) 

The  familiar  face  of  old  Bets  used  to  peer  in  upon  my  vision 
for  about  twenty  years,  when  all  of  a  sudden  it  disappeared,  and 
the  news  came  that  she  was  dead.  Very  few  who  met  her  wrink- 
led face,  her  laughing  eyes,  her  grotesque  figure,  or  heard  her 
whining  voice  asking  for  '*  kosh-poppy,"  or  money,  knew  of  the 
romantic  history  attached  to  that  old  squaw,  as  she  almost  daily 
paraded  the  streets  of  St.  Paul  and  sold  her  moccasins  or 
begged  for  aid  !  The  weight  of  years,  the  burden  of  trouble, 
silent  grief,  patient  suffering,  all  leave  their  impress  behind,  and 
the  Indian  is  not  exempt  from  this  general  law.  Who  knows  or 
can  divine  the  history  of  that  old  man,  tottering  under  the  load 
of  a  life  of  suffering  ?  Who  could  realize  that  in  his  early  days  he 


stole  the  hearts  of  women,  electrified  men,  and  moved  the  masses 
with  his  oratory  ?  Now,  old  and  decrepid,  how  useless !  Who 
could  imagine,  even,  the  early  triumphs,  the  bewitching  beauty, 
the  incomparable  charms  of  that  young  girl,  who,  threading 
life's  thoroughfare,  drew  after  her  hundreds  of  admirers  ?  now 
that  bent-over,  gray-haired,  bowed-down  form  ;  how  changed  ! 
So  each  and  every  one  has  a  history,  and  must  in  turn  pass  out 
of  youth,  and  vigor,  and  beauty,  and  manhood,  and  woman- 
hood, into  the  silent,  stealthy  tread  of  old  age,  groping  down  the 
valley  of  death,  hoping  to  catch  a  glimpse  on  the  other  shore  of 
that  light  which  burns  forever!  The  Indian  race  is  not  an  excep- 
tion to  the  general  rule. 

Old  Bets  was  once  young  and  handsome,  and  she  drew  after 
her  many  admirers.  Born  at  the  confluence  of  two  rivers — the 
Mississippi  and  the  Minnesota — her  childhood  was  passed  among 
the  scenes  of  her  final  death ;  but  her  early  girlhood  was  out 
among  the  wild  scenery  of  her  tribe,  where  danger  confronted 
the  red  men  of  the  plains  and  acts  of  valor  crowned  the  warrior 
with  undying  fame !  Young  Bets  was  greatly  loved  among  her 
tribe,  not  only  for  her  beauty  but  for  her  kind  disposition,  as 
well  as  for  her  bravery ;  so  it  came  to  pass  that  a  young  man 
who  had  won  great  renown  on  the  battle  field,  sought  the  hand 
of  the  young  girl  in  marriage,  and  in  turn  she  looked  upon  his 
attentions  with  favor.  Her  brother,  however,  being  himself  a 
w^arrior  and  a  medicine  man,  objected  to  the  match  upon  the 
ground  that  his  sister's  suitor  had,  in  the  past,  wronged  him,  and 
he  declared  he  should  never  darken  the  door  of  his  tepee,  even 
if  he  did — as  he  was  willing  to — make  amends  for  the  injury 

The  merry  laugh  of  the  Indian  maiden  gradually  died  away. 
Her  joyous  nature  turned  to  soberness,  as  she  thought  of  the 
young  heart  which  beat  only  for  her,  and  in  turn,  before  she  was 
aware  of  it,  her  tenderest  feelings  were  wrapped  up  in  the  welfare 
of  the  young  and  ardent  lover,  whose  image  had  become  a  part 
of  her  own  existence.  She  besought  her  brother  to  forgive  the 
young  warrior.  She  assured  him  that  her  happiness  depended 
upon  her  union  with  him  ;  but  the  stolid  face,  the  hardened  heart 
would  not  relax,  and  she  turned  away  with   great  sorrow  and 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  199 

entered  the  forest,  where  unexpectedly  she  met  Chig-go-nia,  her 
best  and  dearest  friend.  Here  their  interview  terminated  with  a 
solemn  resolve  to  die  for  each  other,  and  on  the  morrow  the  two 
were  to  quietly  meet,  bid  good-by  to  old  associations,  and 
mounted  on  ponies,  pass  away  west  as  man  and  wife. 

With  the  rising  of  the  sun  the  young  and  lovely  berry-picker 
had  fled,  and  with  her  Chig-go-nia.  Her  brother,  whose  name 
was  He-in-da-koo,  was  soon  aware  of  what  had  occurred,  and 
mounted  on  one  of  his  fleetest  horses,  and  well  armed,  he  started 
out  in  pursuit.  About  noon  he  overtook  the  flying  couple,  who, 
conscious  of  his  desperate  hatred  and  unrelenting  ferocity,  re- 
doubled their  speed  ;  the  warrior,  however,  gained  upon  them 
until  they  were  all  soon  together  and  speeding  rapidly  over 
the  plain.  Young  Bets'  brother  rode  in  front,  and  drawing 
his  horse's  head  across  the  path  of  the  lover,  sought  to  cut  him 
down  with  his  tomahawk.  His  sister  pleaded  for  his  life,  but  see- 
ing that  her  pleadings  were  all  in  vain,  she  reined  in  her  pony, 
brought  him  close  to  the  side  of  her  lover,  and  with  one  spring 
from  her  animal,  she  landed  in  his  lap.  With  one  arm  about  the 
waist  of  his  love,  the  young  man  fought  bravely  for  his  life,  but 
encumbered  with  the  maiden  he  fought  to  great  disadvantage, 
when,  all  of  a  sudden  his  antagonist  struck  him  with  his  toma- 
hawk on  the  head  from  behind,  and  the  young  man  sank  to  the 
earth,  and  in  the  arms  of  his  sweet-heart  breathed  out  his  last 
farewell.  The  maiden  was  carried  back  into  camp,  and  though 
she  subsequently  married  a  man  of  note  in  her  tribe,  yet  the  great 
sorrow  of  her  early  love  never  left  her,  and  traces  of  that  sorrow 
could  be  seen  upon  her  face  even  in  her  old  age  as  she  trudged 
up  and  down  our  streets. 

For  many  years  this  inoffensive  old  woman  became  a  marked 
character,  both  to  our  citizens  and  to  strangers.  I  remember 
her  as  the  possessor  of  a  wrinkled  face,  peculiar  eyes,  disheveled 
hair,  large  mouth,  exposed  neck,  uncouth  form  ;  but  always  with 
Tier  cheerful  "  ho-ho,"  and  she  plodded  along  under  the  weight  of 
years  and  of  her  great  sorrow.  She  was  a  kind  and  devoted 
friend  to  the  whites,  and  before  her  death  became  quite  poor,  but 
it  is  a  credit  to  humanity  to  be  able  to  state,  that  she  was  aided 
by  pecuniary  help  from  our  citizens,  and  finally  died  in  the  Chris- 


tian  belief  and  was  accorded  a  Christian  burial  in  the  place  of 
her  birth,  and  where  she  had  spent  the  best  portion  of  her  life. 


Born  in  Vermont  in  1822,  Mr.  Olmsted  followed  the  Winne- 
bagoes  to  Long  Prairie,  having  for  many  years  previously  en- 
gaged in  the  Indian  trade,  where  he  established  a  store,  and  also 
another  in  this  city  in  the  year  1848.  He  came  to  reside  per- 
manently in  St.  Paul  in  1853,  but  previous  to  this,  in  1849,  while 
off  and  on  in  the  city,  he  was  elected  a  member  of  the  first  Ter- 
ritorial Council  of  Minnesota,  and  was  chosen  president  of  that 
body.  He  was  also  in  the  Council  of  185 1,  so  that  I  can  justly 
class  him  as  among  the  citizens  of  the  city  in  1850.  In  1853  he 
gave  up  his  Indian  trade  and  purchased  of  Col.  D.  A.  Robertson 
the  Minnesota  Democrat  office,  which  was  in  a  white  wooden 
building  standing  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Wabasha  streets, 
now  known  as  the  McQuillan  block.  Judge  Nelson  at  one  time 
owned  this  same  printing  office.  Olmsted  edited  the  Democrat 
until  1854,  when  he  sold  out  and  was  elected  first  Mayor  of  St. 
Paul.  He  removed  to  Winona  in  1855,  and  that  year  was  nom- 
inated for  Congress,  H.  M.  Rice  being  his  opponent  on  the  Dem- 
ocratic ticket,  and  Wm.  R.  Marshall  running  as  a  Republican, 
who  was  defeated.  Soon  after  this,  his  health  failing  him,  he 
sailed  for  Cuba,  where  he  remained  one  winter;  but  getting  no 
better,  he  returned  home  and  died  in  1861,  aged  thirty-nine  years. 
Olmsted  County  is  named  after  him. 


Mr.  Olmsted  was  a  well-built  man;  pleasant  in  his  address; 
quiet  in  his  manners  ;  sensible  in  his  speech ;  naturally  polite, 
and  a  real  gentleman,  somewhat  like  Edmund  Rice.  He  had  a 
large  head  with  heavy,  shaggy  eyebrows,  and  when  he  addressed 
his  fellow-men  it  was  with  an  air  of  equality,  not  with  an  air  of 
superiority.  His  voice  was  low  and  pleasing,  and  a  quiet,  sub- 
dued smile  played  upon  his  features.  He  never  ranted ;  his  temper 
was  uniform  ;  his  movements  dignified,  and  yet  he  was  approach- 
able by  every  one.  The  serenity  of  his  nature  and  the  true  ele- 
ments which  make  a  man,  won  for  him  many  friends.  St.  Paul 
may  well  be  proud  of  her  first  mayor.     He  was  a  man  of  a  good 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN,  201 

deal  of  solid  ability,  appealing  more  to  reason  and  to  argument 
than  to  tinselry  or  demagogism,  to  carry  his  case.  As  an  illus- 
tration, he  was  an  old-time  Democrat,  but  he  could  not  endure 
slavery,  so  he  ran  for  Congress  on  the  anti-Nebraska  ticket,  and 
of  course  was  defeated.  At  the  age  of  twenty-four  years  he  was  a 
member  of  the  convention  which  framed  the  constitution  for 
Iowa,  and  in  every  public  position  which  he  held  in  Minnesota 
he  was  noted  for  his  good  common  sense  and  his  love  of  fairness 
and  justice.  As  an  editor  he  adorned  the  profession,  as  a  mayor 
he  honored  the  city,  as  a  man  his  memory  is  revered  and 


The  first  bowling  alley  was  a  rough  boarded  building  on  the 
south  side  of  Third  street,  upper  town,  overlooking  the  river. 
The  interior  was  as  rough  as  the  exterior  and  somewhat  after  the 
fashion  of  ''  Monk  Hall,"  of  which  I  have  already  written. 

In  1850  a  celebrated  law  firm  in  this  city  had  a  brand-new 
Bible  with  an  elegant  cover  on  it,  and  feeling  that  no  lawyer's 
ofifice  was  complete  without  the  word  of  God  in  it,  one  of  the 
firm  stripped  off  the  expensive  cover  and  had  it  bound  in  calf,  so 
that  it  is  now  dressed  in  the  same  garb  as  the  law  books  belong- 
ing to  the  firm.  The  elegant  lids  of  the  Bible  were  used  to  cover 
up  decisions  in  divorce  cases,  and  was  thoroughly  read  by  every 
lady  who  patronized  the  establishment.  The  word  of  God  in  calf 
externally  looked  like  the  twin-brother  of  Blackstone,  but  in  many 
other  respects  greatly  resembled  the  owner  of  the  book — at  least 
in  the  binding ! 


Mr.  Brown  was  born  in  Maryland  in  1805,  and  had  he  lived 
to  this  time  he  would  have  been  eighty  years  old.  He  died  in 
New  York  in  1870,  or  fifteen  years  ago,  aged  sixty-five  years. 
His  father  was  a  local  Methodist  Episcopal  minister,  and  in  early 
years  Joseph  was  put  to  learn  the  printer's  trade,  but  becoming 
dissatisfied  from  what  he  alleges  was  cruel  treatment,  he  ran 
away  and  enlisted  in  the  army  and  came  to  Fort  Snelling  as  a 
drummer  boy  in  1819,  or  sixty-six  years  ago,  at  which  time  he 
was  about  fourteen  years  of  age.  He  left  the  army  somewhere 
in  the  years  1825  or  1828,  and  engaged  in  the  lumbering  and 


Indian  business.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  to  reside  permanently  in 
1850,  although  he  had  been  in  the  city  off  and  on  for  a  year  or 
more.  He  married  a  Dakota  woman,  and  at  the  time  I  first  met 
him  had  a  family  of  six  or  eight  children.  In  the  early  days, 
before  the  existence  of  Minnesota,  he  was  appointed  a  justice  of 
the  peace  in  Wisconsin ;  was  also  elected  a  member  of  the  Leg- 
islature of  that  State  for  three  years ;  was  a  prominent  member 
of  the  convention  which  took  steps  to  organize  Minnesota  into  a 
Territory;  was  Secretary  of  the  Territorial  Council  after  Minne- 
sota became  a  Territory,  during  the  years  1849  and  1851  ;  was 
Chief  Clerk  of  the  House  of  Representatives  in  1853;  member 
of  the  Council  (or  Senate)  in  1854  and  1855  ;  of  the  House  in 
1857,  and  Territorial  Printer  in  1853-4;  was  also  an  influential 
member  of  the  Constitutional  Convention,  and  chairman  of  the 
committee  appointed  to  canvass  the  votes  on  the  adoption  of  the 
constitution;  was  appointed  Indian  agent  in  1857,  ^^^  ^^  man 
ever  dealt  more  fairly  or  honestly  with  the  red  men  than  Joseph 
R.  Brown. 

At  the  time  I  met  him  he  was  largely  engaged  in  the  Indian 
trade;  had  laid  out  Henderson  as  a  town-site  and  was  running 
a  stage-line  to  it ;  had  purchased  the  Pioneer  of  the  estate  of 
James  M.  Goodhue  in  1852,  and  was  conducting  the  affairs  of  his 
political,  or  rather  Democratic  party,  while  he  had  conceived  the 
idea  in  his  brain  of  a  huge  steam  wagon,  which  was  to  traverse 
the  prairies  loaded  with  goods  for  the  frontier,  for  he  was  always 
reaching  out  beyond  the  confines  of  civilization  into  the  remote 
portions  of  barbaric  life.  Having  let  go  his  hold  on  the  Pioneer 
he  started  the  Democrat  at  Henderson  in  the  year  1857;  and 
from  thence  he  and  his  family  drifted  into  what  is  known  as 
Brown's  Valley,  a  beautiful  country  at  present  adorned  with  ele- 
gant farms.  When  Mr.  Brown  came  to  St.  Paul  he  purchased 
the  property  now  known  as  Kittson's  addition,  for  ^150 — worth 
to-day  several  millions.  It  is  alleged  that  he  sold  the  lot  where 
Raugh's  saloon  used  to  stand,  on  Third  street,  now  occupied  by  Mr. 
Jones,  for  a  box  of  cigars,  the  present  value  being  about  ;^2  5,000. 
He  had  but  little  appreciation  of  money  only  so  far  as  it  was  a 
means  of  effecting  certain  ends,  and  these  ends  usually  were  the 
advancement  of  the  human  race. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  203 


The  traveler  who  passes  over  the  great  plains  of  Dakota, 
sees  here  and  there  a  sage-bush  and  sometimes  a  small  sapling, 
and  then,  all  of  a  sudden  his  vision  falls  on  a  great  butte,  or  rock, 
which,  rising  out  of  the  prairie  in  huge  proportions,  looms  up 
against  the  sky  and  throws  its  shadows  for  miles  in  the  distance. 
What  nature  presents  on  our  plains  is  illustrated  in  the  career  of 
the  human  race.  The  great  mass  of  the  people  resemble  sage- 
brush, with  here  and  there  a  tree  of  a  larger  growth,  but  capping 
all,  and  overlooking  all,  and  overshadowing  all,  rises  the  great 
man,  who,  in  his  rugged  characteristics  resembles  nature's  land- 
mark, for  he  stands  prominently  out  from  his  fellow-men  clearly 
defined  and  clearly  seen.  Such  was  Major  Joseph  R.  Brown, 
the  subject  of  this  sketch.  Coming  to  Minnesota  early,  and 
having  been  intimately  associated  with  Mr,  Brown  in  editing  the 
Pioneer  for  six  months,  I  am,  perhaps,  as  well  able  to  speak  of 
his  peculiar  traits  of  character  as  any  man  living.  I  have  stated 
in  previous  articles  that  I  landed  at  the  levee  at  St.  Paul  in  the 
year  1853,  determined  to  make  this  city  my  future  home,  and 
what  more  natural  than  that  I  should  seek  a  place  in  my  own 
profession  ?  So  I  entered  the  Minitcsotian  office  on  Third  street, 
and  there  met  Owens  and  Moore,  and  to  my  application,  "  Do 
you  want  a  *  devil,'  or  a  printer,  or  an  assistant  editor,  or  an  edi- 
tor-in-chief? "  came  back  the  curt  answer,  "  No !  "  I  trudged  up 
Third  street  to  the  corner  of  Wabasha,  where  the  old  Democrat 
was  then  printed  ;  entered  the  office  and  there  met  David  Olm- 
sted, with  his  great,  shaggy  eyebrows  and  his  big  head,  and 
George  W.  Armstrong,  with  his  pleasant  face  and  red  hair,  and 
in  response  to  my  question  for  work,  a  modified  and  pleasing 
answer  greeted  me  **  No  !  "  I  trudged  over  Third  street,  passed 
by  a  one  story  and  a  half  wooden  building  where  Ingersoll  block 
now  stands,  walked  down  Bench  street  a  short  distance  and  en- 
tered the  office  of  the  Pioneer.  I  stood  in  the  presence  of  Joseph 
R.  Brown.  At  this  time  Mr.  Brown  was  a  good-sized  man,  then 
about  fifty  years  of  age,  with  a  sharp  Roman  nose,  clear-cut 
features,  hair  somewhat  long  and  gently  curling,  head  tending  to 
baldness,  wore  an  open  stand-up  collar  lying  loosely  about  his 
neck,  and  presented  an  appearance  which  at  once  denoted  some- 


thing  above  the  ordinary  man.  His  chin  was  prominent  and  his 
Hps  thin,  and  when  he  spoke  his  eyes  dilated,  and  when  done 
speaking  he  made  a  noise  between  a  sneeze  and  a  cough,  pro- 
duced by  a  catarrhal  affection,  with  which  he  had  long  been 

"  Mr.  Brown,"  I  said,  "  I  called  to  inquire  if  you  wished  any 
one  to  assist  you."  He  turned  square  around  from  his  writing 
and  with  a  pleasant  smile,  answered — "  Well,  by  George,  I  think 
I  do."  "  I  guess  I  can  suit  you  ;  I  have  been  in  the  printing  busi- 
ness for  myself;  know  all  the  ins  and  outs  of  the  profession,"  I 
remarked,  when  he  fixed  his  strong,  bright  eyes  upon  me  and 
asked — "  What  do  you  consider  your  services  worth  ?  "  to  which 
I  replied — "  Fix  your  own  terms."  **  I  want  a  man  to  assist  me 
here,"  he  replied,  "to  take  entire  charge  of  the  paper  when  I  am 
gone  ;  and  so  you  think  you  can  perform  the  labor  ?  "  I  told  him  I 
certainly  thought  I  could,  when  he  agreed  to  pay  me  ;^30  per 
week,  and  I  was  then  and  there  engaged  in  the  old  Pioneer  office, 
in  1853,  or  thirty-two  years  ago. 


I  remember  many  pleasant  incidents  in  the  life  of  Mr.  Brown, 
all  of  which  go  to  make  up  the  real  character  of  the  man.  He  was 
a  person  of  great  energy  and  great  industry  and  great  vitality, 
and  with  an  evenness  of  temper  which  I  never  before  and  never 
since  have  met  with  in  my  association  with  men  ;  always  good- 
natured,  always  considerate,  and  I  remember  the  fact  with  feel- 
ings of  the  liveliest  emotions,  that  during  the  six  months  I  was 
with  him,  I  can  recall  no  word  or  look  that  militates  in  the  least 
degree  against  the  memory  of  the  lamented  dead.  Mr.  Brown 
had  the  habit  of  saying  **  By  George  !  "  He  never  swore  ;  he 
never  drank ;  he  never  played  cards  ;  he  did  smoke  cigars  occa- 
sionally. At  times  he  was  thoughtful,  and  a  calm  and  serene 
expression  would  creep  over  his  face  as  he  no  doubt  sometimes 
thought  of  the  old  folks  at  home  and  of  his  childhood  hours. 
One  morning  the  driver  of  his  stage  to  Henderson  came  into  the 
offi'-v  with  a  very  sad  face,  and  addressing  Mr.  Brown,  who  was 
quietly  writing  at  my  elbow,  said — "  The  horses  have  run  away, 
Mr.  Brown,  and  one — one — one — of — them — is — dead!"  Mr. 
Brown  quietly  turned  around  and  looking  up  in  the  face  of  the 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  205 

distressed  man,  in  a  pleasant  but  by  no  means  excited  manner, 
inquired  how  it  all  happened,  and  when  the  driver  had  concluded 
his  story.  Brown  simply  remarked — "  Well,  by  George  !  John,  if 
those  horses  hadn't  run  away,  it  is  probable  that  both  of  them 
would  have  been  alive  now.  Well,  I  must  get  another  horse,  by 
George !  "  The  effect  upon  the  poor  driver  was  instantaneous  ; 
his  eyes  lightened  up,  his  countenance  assumed  a  different  shape, 
and  a  great  sigh  came  from  his  heart  as  he  then  and  there  no 
doubt  resolved  never  to  do  anything  in  the  future  that  would 
lose  him  the  respect  and  the  friendship  of  so  good  a  man  as 
Joseph  R.  Brown. 


«  _ 

I  entered  the  office   one  morning  about  6:30  o'clock,  and 
found  Mr.  Brown  at  his  table  writing.     **  Well,  Mr.  Brown,  you 
are  pretty  early  this  morning,"  I    remarked,  when  he  quietly 
said — "  Yes,  by  George!    pretty  early  in  view  of  the  fact  that  I 
have  not  yet  been  to  bed."     "  Why,  Brown,  is  that  so?    What 's 
up?  "  **  Oh,  nothing,  only  I  am  getting  up  a  bill  for  the  suppres- 
sion of  immorality,  and  I  knew  I  would  not  be  able  to  conclude 
it  unless  I  took  the  night  to  do  it  in,  and  I  have  just  finished  it." 
The  reader  should  bear  in  mind  that  Mr.  Brown  was  then  Terri- 
torial Printer,  and  that  bills  were  considered  "  fat  takes,"   inas- 
much as  large   slugs  were  placed  between   each   line,  and  the 
printer  was  allowed  one  dollar  per   1,000.     The  next  day  Mr. 
Brown  arose  in  the  Senate,  as  he  was  then  a  member  of  that 
body,  and  in  his  peculiar  grave  and  honest  manner,  desired  to 
introduce  a  bill  for  the  suppression  of  immorality,  and  moved 
that  it  be  read  by  its  title  and  printed,  which  motion  prevailed. 
The  next  day  the  bill  came  up  and  was  read.     It  first  made  pro- 
vision for  the  suppression  of  liquor  on  the  bars  of  steamboats — 
Brown  was  a  temperance  man  ; — it  then  enumerated  many  other 
elements  of  immorality,  and  finally  it  resolved  that  to  advance 
the  moral  character  of  the  community  no  person  shall  be  per- 
mitted to  hang  the  under-garments  of   either  sex  on  a  public 
clothes-line,  as  such  an  act  is   detrimental  to  the  public   morals 
of  the  people.     Of  course  the  Senate  saw  the  joke,  and  the  bill 
was  immediately  indefinitely  postponed  ;  but  Brown  had  carried 


his  point,  the  bill  had  been  ordered  printed,  and  his  one  night's 
labor  on  it  had  netted  him  just  ^loo. 


It  was  Sunday  morning  when  I  sauntered  up  to  the  office 
and  there  met  Mr.  Brown,  who  was  exercising  a  peculiar  habit 
which  he  had  of  scratching  the  palm  of  his  left  hand  with  the 
nails  of  the  fingers  of  the  right,  and  looking  very  serious. 
"Good  morning,  Mr.  Brown  ;  I  thought  you  were  in  Henderson." 
"  By  George  !  I  wish  I  was  across  the  river,"  he  replied.  "  Why 
so,  Mr.  Brown?  "  "  Well,  my  house  has  been  burned  down  and 
I  am  getting  a  little  anxious  about  my  family."  "  How  do  you 
know  your  house  has  been  burned  ?  "  "  Well,  by  George !  I  saw 
it,  and  don't  you  see  the  smoke  ?  "  and  looking  in  the  direction 
in  which  he  pointed,  which  was  then  on  the  bluff  in  West  St. 
Paul,  sure  enough,  there  was  the  smoke  of  his  ruined  home. 
The  river  at  this  time  was  full  of  ice,  and  it  was  impossible  for 
the  ferry-boat  to  run,  and  it  was  very  dangerous  for  anybody  to 
attempt  to  cross.  Brown  walked  up  and  down  the  bluff  for 
some  time,  when,  all  of  a  sudden  I  missed  him,  and  casting  my 
eyes  down  the  river  there  he  was,  jumping  from  one  cake  of 
floating  ice  to  the  other  at  the  imminent  risk  of  his  life ;  now  glid- 
ing down  the  stream  ;  now  caught  in  a  gorge ;  now  struggling 
to  gain  the  shore ;  now  safe !  Several  days  passed  before  I  was 
able  to  follow  him,  which  I  did,  and  found  him  coolly  scratching 
his  bare  limb,  with  the  remnant  of  his  household  goods  which 
had  been  saved,  and  his  wife  and  family  about  him.  "  By  George! 
it  was  a  narrow  escape,  but  we  are  all  here,"  said  the  affectionate 
father  and  kind  husband,  and  I  thought  I  saw  a  tear  glisten  in 
his  eye  as  his  children  gathered  around  him  and  heard  him  tell 
me  of  the  narrow  escape  of  his  family  from  the  devouring  ele- 
ments. With  a  brave  spirit  and  a  light  heart  he  went  to  work^ 
and  in  a  few  days  another  home  arose  on  the  ruins  of  the  old. 


Frank  C.  Shanley,  who  was  a  private  in  the  army  and  who 
was  also  in  the  Indian  war,  writes  me  as  follows : 

"  Your  notice  of  Mr.  Brown  has  brought  to  my  mind  an  incident  which  occurred 
nearly  twenty-two  years  ago,  and  which  ilhistrates  the  character  of  the  man.     It  was 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  207 

at  the  battle  of  Birch  Coolie,  and  Joe  Brown's  coolness  and  bravery  took  a  great 
weight  off  my  mind,  for  I  was  then  young  in  years  and  inexperienced,  but  at  the 
same  time  had  to  stand  the  siege.  I  was  on  guard  duty  at  our  camp  when  attacked, 
and  happened  to  come  up  near  Mr.  Brown,  and  from  what  I  could  learn  I  was  sure 
it  meant  death  to  all  of  us,  but  not  so  to  him.  His  first  words  uttered  in  my  hear- 
ing were — '  By  George!  we  have  got  into  a  fix,  boys;  now  we  must  fight  to  get  out 
of  it.'  He  waited  a  few  moments,  which  seemed  like  hours  to  me,  and  then  said — 
'Well,  by  George!  I  want  some  volunteers  to  run  the  gauntlet.'  The  men  were  on 
hand  in  a  minute,  the  first  one  to  volunteer  being  George  Wells,  for  they  all  had  con- 
fidence in  Brown.  '  Well,  we  will  bridle  the  horses  now  and  start,'  said  he,  '  but 
remember,  it  is  dangerous,'  and  just  as  he  spoke  a  bullet  hit  him  in  the  shoulder 
and  stunned  him  for  a  moment,  and  then  he  i-emarked  jocosely — 'Well,  boys,  that 
won't  do.  Don't  waste  your  ammunition,  but  make  it  count,  by  George!  '  This 
coolness,  just  at  that  time,  in  the  beginning  of  the  fight,  may  be  considered  as  sav- 
ing us  all,  for  a  stampede  was  imminent,  as  the  men  were  sick  and  disgusted  with 
the  horrible  scenes  and  the  odor  from  the  decomposed  bodies,  which  came  up  from 
every  side,  and  having  been  deprived  of  sleep,  they  were  in  a  good  condition  to  get 
wild  and  run.  Joe  Brown,  in  not  losing  his  head  upon  this  occasion,  saved  the 
camp,  and,  of  course,  saved  our  lives." 

brown's  steam  wagon. 

It  was  an  earnest  desire  on  the  part  of  Mr.  Brown  to  bring 
to  perfection  a  steam  wagon  which  would  be  able  to  traverse  our 
extensive  prairies  and  draw  after  it  immense  loads  of  goods  both 
for  the  Indian  and  the  settler.  To  this  end  he  had  one  made 
which  resembled  very  much  the  present  huge  steam  roller  now 
in  use  on  our  streets  by  the  city,  and  started  it  across  the 
plains  ;  but  it  broke  down  and  so  did  Brown  financially,  and  the 
matter  for  the  tiriie  being  was  abandoned.  Parts  of  the  machin- 
ery of  this  novel  invention  lay  upon  the  prairies  for  years,  and 
it  was  for  the  purpose  of  perfecting  this  invention  that  the  inven- 
tor went  East  in  1870,  but  never  returned  alive.  No  doubt  the 
idea  which  produced  the  present  street  roller  originated  in  the 
brain  of  Joseph  R.  Brown. 


It  will  be  remem.bered  by  my  readers,  that  in  the  year  1853 
the  question  of  permitting  or  not  permitting  slavery  into  our 
Territories,  was  then  agitating  the  country.  Brown  was  absent 
at  his  trading  post  and  I  wrote  an  editorial  committing  the 
paper  to  the  anti-slavery  part  of  the  discussion,  and  the  next 
day  in  came  Gov.  W.  A.  Gorman  with  a  huge  book  under  his 
arm,  his  gold-headed  cane  in  his  hand,  and  little  Jack  Morgan 


by  his  side.  Gorman,  in  austere  terms  for  which  he  was  noted, 
wanted  to  know,  in  a  dignified  manner,  who  wrote  that  article  ? 
I  pleaded  guilty  to  the  charge.     Gorman  replied — "  Well,  sir,  by 

G ,  sir,  you  have  ruined  the  Democratic  party,  sir,"  and  then 

he  unfolded  the  leaves  of  his  great  book  and  sought  to  demon- 
strate by  a  record  of  the  past,  that  slavery  was  right  and  ought  to 
have  the  privilege  of  going  where  it  pleased  on  the  public  domain, 
to  which,  of  course,  "  Our  Little  Jack  "  earnestly  assented.  It 
was  a  tight  spot  to  put  me  in,  but  I  squeezed  out  of  it  and  waited 
the  return  of  the  editor,  who,  I  felt  sure,  would  be  very  angry, 
and  possibly  dispense  with  my  services.  Brown  came  and  the 
first  words  were — "  By  George !  you  have  got  me  into  a  close 
corner.  How  came  you  to  put  that  article  in  ?  "  I  explained 
the  affair  to  him  as  best  I  could,  when,  without  another  word  he 
sat  down  and  wrote  a  very  adroit  article  rectifying  the  matter, 
and  then  reading  it  to  me,  he  remarked — "  I  guess  that  will  save 
the  Democratic  party,"  and  it  did,  for  both  Gorman  and  Morgan 
were  satisfied  and  Brown  laughed  over  the  weakness  of  human 

BROWN    AS    A    MAN. 

Rugged  in  his  nature,  uncultivated  by  the  schools,  unassisted 
by  early  advantages,  unaided  by  wealth  or  moulded  by  refined 
society,  Joseph  R.  Brown  rises  head  and  shoulders  above  his  fel- 
low-men, both  in  those  traits  of  character  which  mark  the  true 
man,  and  in  those  other  traits  of  character  which  mark  the  true 
genius.  His  mind  was  broad  and  grasping  and  progressive. 
His  heart  was  kind,  and  large  and  generous.  His  nature  was 
cool,  serene,  hopeful.  He  carved  out  his  own  fortune  ;  he  has 
written  his  own  name  indelibly  upon  the  rock  of  truth  and  man- 
hood, and  there  it  will  remain  forever. 


"  God  bless  you,  my  old  friend !  "  was  the  salutation  of  Mr. 
Brown  to  the  writer  in  the  Merchants  hotel  in  the  year  1 870,  and 
he  grasped  my  hand  with  a  warmth  of  friendship,  the  memory 
of  which  time  can  never  efface.  **  I  am  going  East  to  perfect 
my  steam  wagon;  am  a  little  ahead  financially  through  ni}' 
Indian  agency,  and  by  George !  I  think  I  am  now  all  right,"  and 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  209 

drawincT  me  to  the  bar  he  did  that  which  I  never  knew  him  to  do 
before — call  for  a  glass  of  wine,  and  we  drank  the  parting  cup  ; 
he  to  go  East ;  I  to  go  West — to  part  forever.  And  soon  after 
came  the  sad  news,  "  Brown  is  dead  !  "  But  like  another  great 
man  who  passed  away  before  he  did,  Brown  *'  still  lives  " — not 
only  in  the  history  of  Minnesota,  but  in  the  memory  of  all  those 
who  knew  him  intimately  and  who  cherish  his  good  deeds  and 
his  noble  character. 


The  first  fresh  oysters  were  brought  to  this  section  of  coun- 
try by  Governor  Ramsey,  in  kegs  from  Chicago,  in  February, 
1850.  Previous  to  this  date  cove  oysters  had  been  imported,  but 
the  credit  of  introducing  the  fresh  fruit  belongs  to  the  Governor. 
When  I  contemplate  the  immense  number  of  oysters  now  used 
in  this  State,  and  the  immense  sums  necessary  in  procuring  them, 
I  can  realize  the  force  of  the  expression,  "  Tall  oaks  from  little 
acorns  grow." 

*  COLE,"  OR   J.  C.  MARTIN. 

Every  old  settler  will  remember  Cole  Martin,  who,  in  early 
days  with  King  Cole  led  the  social  male  circle  in  this  city.  Cole 
was  as  much  a  man  in  St.  Paul  in  his  way  twenty-five  years 
ago,  as  the  late  Sam.  Ward  was  in  Washington.  King  Cole  is 
dead,  but  Cole  Martin  still  lives  and  flourishes  in  the  Capital  of 
the  nation.  He  was  born  in  Virginia  in  1828;  removed  to  Indi- 
ana; enlisted  in  the  Mexican  war  in  1840,  and  remained  in  the 
army  two  years  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1 848  ;  was  absent  two  years  ; 
returned  in  1850,  from  which  year  I  date  his  residence,  and 
remained  up  to  1858,  when  he  removed  to  Washington,  where 
he  has  ever  since  resided.  His  first  visit  to  St.  Paul  in  twenty- 
four  years  was  made  last  summer. 

"the    hippodrome" FIRST    CLUB-HOUSE. 

Cole  Martin  and  King  Cole  established  the  first  club-house 
in  the  city,  which  stood  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Robert 
streets,  where  the  German-American  bank  now  is.  Here  could 
be  found  the  very  finest  liquors  in  the  Northwest  displayed  on 
tempting  side-boards,  and  taken  ad  libitum  by  members  of  the 
club.  Plere,  too,  were  social  "  sit-downs,"  which,  in  those  early 


days  were  considered  highly  proper  appendages  to  society.  Here^ 
too,  were  served  up  some  very  fine  dishes,  and  partaken  of  by 
epicurean  palates.  The  faro-bank  in  those  days  was  the  only 
bank  upon  which  capitalists  could  make  a  run,  and  around  the 
**  Hippodrome  "  gathered  the  wealth  and  the  bon-ton  of  the  city. 


"Cole"  Martin  owned  a  horse  called  the  "Black  Hawk," 
and  Willoughby  owned  an  apparently  old  broken-down  stage 
animal,  called  "  Sleepy."  Willoughby  made  a  bet  that  "  Sleepy  " 
could  clean  out  "Black  Hawk."  "Cole"  took  the  bet.  The 
distance  was  twenty  miles  ;  to  St.  Anthony,  around  the  St.  Charles 
hotel,  and  back.  Great  excitement  prevailed ;  immense  bets  for 
those  days  were  made,  and  the  road  from  St.  Paul  to  St.  Anthony 
was  literally  alive  with  vehicles,  men  on  horseback  and  pedes- 
trians. "  Black  Hawk  "  started  out  nimbly,  and  many  bets  were 
made  on  him,  but  old  "  Sleepy  "  came  in  ahead  to  the  great  mor- 
tification of  the  owner  of  the  animal  and  those  who  had  bet  on 
his  favorite  steed.  It  was  the  old  story  over  again  of  being 
deceived  by  appearances,  but  it  was  a  memorable  event  in  the 
history  of  "Cole"  Martin,  and  occurred  in  the  year  1855. 

Mr.  Martin  was  tall,  slender,  gentlemanly,  elegantly  dressed, 
fine  looking,  and  in  his  profession  the  soul  of  honor.  He  was  a 
great  favorite  with  the  ladies,  and  indeed  I  may  say  with  the 
gentlemen.  He  was  early  left  an  orphan  and  has  only  one 
brother  living,  E.  F.  Martin,  who  formerly  carried  on  business 
on  Jackson  street,  in  this  city.  Jim  Vincent,  Charlie  Henniss, 
Andy  Shearer,  Cole  Martin,  King  Cole,  were  peculiar  characters 
who  flourished  in  the  days  of  the  past,  only  one  of  whom  still 
lives,  "Cole"  Martin. 


Mr.  Stees  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1826;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1850;  purchased  of  a  man  by  the  name  of  Frost  his 
small  furniture  store  which  stood  on  the  corner  of  Third  and 
Minnesota  streets,  and  established  what  was  the  first  regular 
furniture  outfit  in  this  city,  with  which  Mr.  Stees  has  been  con- 
nected for  the  past  thirty-four  years,  and  then  only  retiring  in 
consequence  of  ill-health.    He  paid  for  the  corner  lot  upor^  which 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  211 

his  establishment  stood,  fifty  feet  on  Third  street  by  one  hundred 
and  fifty  on  Minnesota,  ;^500 — worth  now  $75,000.  Mr.  Hunt 
went  into  partnership  with  Mr.  Stees  and  continued  for  several 
years,  when  he  opened  a  livery  stable.  As  trade  increased  new 
buildings  were  added  to  the  old  furniture  store,  until  it  is  now 
one  of  the  largest  establishments  of  the  kind  in  the  Northwest. 
Just  back  of  his  original  store  was  a  building  in  which  he  lived, 
and  beyond  this,  on  Minnesota  street,  was  the  Catholic  burial 


In  these  early  days  it  was  common  for  the  Indians  to  pounce 
into  the  kitchen  of  the  lady  of  the  house,  and  clean  out  her 
larder  of  all  that  was  in  it.  I  do  not  mean  to  say  that  they 
would  steal,  but  they  begged  so  hard  and  so  audaciously,  that  it 
was  equivalent  to  it.  Of  course  the  whites  gave  cheerfully 
because  it  was  for  their  interests  to  do  so,  beside  they  desired  to 
keep  on  the  good  side  of  the  red  men  so  if  possible  to  avoid  an 
outbreak.  One  day  while  Mrs.  Stees  was  scrubbing  her  floor, 
(and  in  the  early  times  they  were  glad  to  have  floors,)  several 
Indians  pushed  into  her  kitchen  and  seeing  a  large  dish  of 
chicken  and  pig  feed,  (the  latter  composed  somewhat  of  dish- 
water,) and  supposing  it  was  for  them,  seized  it,  sat  down  upon 
the  wet  floor,  and  before  the  good  woman  could  make  any  pro- 
testation, had  swallowed  the  whole,  and  then  smacking  their  lips 
and  grunting,  left  the  premises.  That  night  the  chickens  went 
to  roost  without  supper,  and  the  pigs  squealed,  until  morning  for 
something  to  eat.  The  next  day,  about  the  same  hour,  the  same 
Indians  made  their  appearance,  but  the  rooster  crowed,  the  hens 
cackled,  the  pigs  grunted,  for  their  mistress  had  circumvented  the 
Indians  by  giving  her  dumb  family  an  early  meal.  Once  again 
the  Indians  gathered  at  the  hospitable  kitchen,  and  this  time  Mrs. 
Stees  had  thoughtlessly  left  her  dishwater  in  a  huge  pot  on  the 
stove,  and  it  was  luke-warm.  Mr.  Indians  seized  and  drank  it 
before  the  presiding  genius  of  the  kitchen  knew  they  were  pres- 
ent. They  soon  after  left,  and  were  heard  to  exclaim — "  Me  heap 
sick,"  and  the  general  contortions  of  their  features  clearly  showed 
that  they  were  telling  the  truth.  They  "  threw  up  "  this  kind  of 
a  job  and  never  visited  the  family  again. 


Two  hundred  acres  of  land  lying  upon  Lake  Phelan,  were 
purchased  by  Mr.  Stees  in  1857,  for  $4,000,  and  he  lived  there 
from  that  date  until  last  year,  when  he  purchased  the  Heather 
mansion,  just  off  of  Summit  avenue,  where  he  now  resides.  His 
200  acres  are  worth  $100,000,  and  this  is  putting  the  property  at 
only  $500  per  acre. 


Mr.  Stees  gives  a  very  amusing  account  of  a  threatened 
burning-in-efifigy  case,  in  which  our  worthy  Gov.  Ramsey  was 
the  principal  figure.  It  seems  that  the  Governor  would  not  com- 
ply with  the  demands  of  a  certain  party  to  do  a  certain  thing,  so 
they  threatened  to  burn  him  in  effigy,  and  Ramsey  declared  they 
should  not  do  it ;  so  he  marshaled  his  friends  and  armed  them, 
and  arming  himself,  waited  for  the  contest.  Ramsey  was  some 
thirty-fiv^e  years  younger  than  he  is  now,  and  his  Scotch-German 
blood  was  aroused  to  its  highest  pitch.  He  buckled  on  his 
sword,  had  his  arms  and  ammunition  ready,  and  as  commander- 
in-chief  was  determined  to  take  the  consequences  of  a  fixed  and 
bloody  battle,  but  his  enemies  should  never  burn  him  in  effigy  in 
front  of  his  own  house — never  ! — no  ! — never  !  The  raw  recruits 
were  stationed  at  available  points  in  his  dwelling  ;  the  arsenal 
department  was  closely  inspected  ;  the  quartermaster  and  com- 
missary had  made  ample  provisions  for  a  long  siege ;  his  friends 
were  eager  for  the  affray  and  firm  in  their  devotion  to  his  inter- 
ests ;  while  he,  as  he  strode  impatiently  up  and  down  in  his  own 
parlor,  was  supposed  to  mutter : 

"Come  on,  Macduff, 
And  damned  be  he  who  first  cries — '  f  Told  !  Enouj^h  ! ' " 

Returning  to  the  other  end  of  his  room,  he  probably  thought 
of,  if  he  didn't  utter,  the  following  sentiment  of  Sir  Roderick 
Dhu : 

"This  rock  shall  fly  from  its  firm  base  as  soon  as  I." 

But  the  enemy  didn't  come !  The  sentinels  peered  out  into  the 
darkness  !  All  was  still !  The  commissary  issued  fatigue  rations 
amid  the  clash  of  arms  inside,  but  the  silent  night  gave  back  no 
response.  The  hours  wore  on  heavily,  pregnant  with  big  coming- 
events,  but  there  was  no  sleep. 

"  Macbeth  had  murdered  sleep." 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  213 

"  They  come  !  They  come  !  "  can  be  heard  the  cry  upon  the 
outer  wall,  and  with  deadly  grip  each  soldier  grabs  his  gun  to 
dare,  to  do,  to  die  !  Listen  !  All  is  still.  'Tis  a  false  alarm  ! 
No  enemy  appears ;  no  enemy  dare  appear  to  confront  the  gal- 
lant band  who  are  ready  to  fall  for  their  brave  commander !  And 
then  the  clank  of  arms  within  the  dwelling  grew  louder,  and 
hearts  grew  braver,  **  and  there  was  hurrying  to  and  fro,"  and 
impetuous  movements,  and  glaring  eye-balls,  and  unsteady  steps, 
"  when  in  the  small  hours  of  the  morning,"  the  bloodless  battle 
having  been  fought  and  won,  the  victors  slept  upon  their  arms, 
and  Ramsey  had  triumphed  ! 

Towards  daylight  most  of  the  party  finding  that  the  bellig- 
erents did  not  make  their  appearance,  left  the  residence  of  the 
Governor  and  wended  their  way  to  "  Monk  Hall,"  which  then 
stood  on  the  corner  of  Eagle  and  Exchange  streets.  Here  they 
made  a  furious  attack  on  the  building  with  stones,  breaking  in 
the  windows  and  forcing  the  inmates  to  seek  other  quarters  for 
their  lives.  In  this  building  was  stored  the  effigy  of  the  Gov- 
ernor, but  his  prompt  and  decided  action  intimidated  his  enemies, 
and  won  him  the  victory. 


Ill-health  for  many  years  has  prevented  Mr.  Stees  from 
taking  any  active  part  in  public  affairs.  In  1859  he  was  County 
Commissioner,  and  in  1854  was  Chief  Engineer  of  the  Fire 
Department.  He  is  a  good-sized  man  and  looks  much  more 
rugged  than  he  really  is.  Is  a  quiet,  unobtrusive,  industrious, 
pleasant  gentleman,  and  has  given  many  years  to  a  lucrative 
business  from  which  he  retires  to  enjoy  the  repose  of  a  well- 
spent  life. 


Mr.  Cummings  was  born  in  Ireland  about  1827;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1850;  elected  City  Marshal  in  1851  ;  Alderman  in 
1869,  1 870-';  1-72  and  '73  ;  member  of  the  Board  of  Education 
three  years;  and  Chief  of  Police  in  1863.  For  several  years 
past  Mr.  Cummings  has  not  been  actively  engaged  in  any  busi- 
ness, and  what  he  is  now  doing  I  do  not  know. 

He  is  a  tall,  well-proportioned  man,  with  a  fine  head  and  a 
fine  address,  and  one  seeing  him  on  the  street  would  not  suppose 


he  was  the  person  who  had  filled  so  many  important  offices,  and 
yet  he  is  a  gentleman  of  good  ability,  and  if  he  had  "  kept  on  in 
the  even  tenor  of  his  way,"  he  might  still  have  been  prominent 
among  the  politicians  of  to-day.  He  was  a  stone  mason  by 
trade,  and  built  the  first  stone  building  in  St.  Paul.  He  also 
brought  the  first  shell  oysters  to  the  city  in  the  year  1852.  He 
was  offered  one  dollar  and  fifty  cents  per  dozen  for  them,  but  he 
wouldn't  sell  them;  gave  them  to  his  friends.     Generous  Mike! 


The  writer  had  made  a  speech  in  the  old  Market  House 
which  reflected  somewhat  politically  upon  two  members  of  the 
Legislature,  when  one  or  both  of  these  members  threatened  to 
whip  him,  and  a  number  of  his  friends  hearing  of  the  matter, 
offered  to  escort  him  safely  home.  Among  the  number  was  Mike 
Cummings,  and  although  we  differed  politically,  he  being  a  Dem- 
ocrat and  I  a  Republican,  yet  he  swore  vengeance  upon  the 
person  who  should  injure  a  hair  of  my  head.  He  was  at  least 
six  foot  tall  and  equally  large  in  other  respects,  so  my  enemies 
concluded  to  let  me  alone.  I  shall  always  have  a  pleasant  mem- 
ory of  Mike  Cummings. 

"  HO  !  " THE    DAY  IS    BREAKING. 

The  Indians  always  say  "  How  !  "  or  "  Ho  !  "  which  means, 
**  How  to  do  ?  "  So  the  whites  adopted  this  habit  and  whenever 
they  drank  they  invariably  said  "Ho!"  and  Minnesota  is  known 
all  over  the  Union,  especially  in  drinking  circles,  by  this  little 
word.  Two  English  tourists  were  visiting  the  West  and  one  of 
them  hearing  "  Ho !  "  and  the  clinking  of  glasses,  innocently 
inquired — **  What  makes  'em  say  'o  when  they  drink  ?  Does  it 
'urt  'em  ?  "  The  other  fellow  dropped  off  into  a  snooze,  when 
his  companion  awoke  him  by  exclaiming — "  Wake  up  !  the  day 
is  breaking  !  "  **  Well,  let  her  break,"  replied  the  other  ;  "  I've 
got  no  money  there ! " 

THE    ARRIVAL    OF    A    COAT. 

It  should  be  remembered  by  my  readers,  that  in  1850  there 
were  no  railroads  or  stage  lines  to  St.  Paul,  and  that  for  nearly  six 
months  the  people  were  deprived  of  a  boat  by  the  ice  in  the  river. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  215 

One  can  conceive  the  joy  over  the  arrival  of  the  first  steamer, 
bringing  as  it  did  not  only  provisions  but  good  tidings  from 
home.  And  then  when  the  stage  line  did  come  it  took  a  week  to 
get  to  or  from  either  Galena  or  Dubuque.  Jump  on  to  a  train  of 
cars  now  and  see  how  soon  you  can  reach  the  seaboard !  But 
after  all  a  pony  was  better  than  walking ;  a  horse  and  a  carriage 
were  better  than  a  pony ;  a  stage  was  better  than  a  private  con- 
veyance ;  a  boat  better  than  a  stage ;  the  cars  the  best  of  all, 
unless  in  the  future  we  shall  find  some  new  channel  in  the  shape 
of  electricity  which  can  put  us  over  the  road  in  half  the  time  with 
greater  convenience  than  now. 


No  great  changes  were  made  in  the  city  during  1850.  The 
first  town  election  was  held  and  twenty-five  marriages  were  cele- 
brated. The  Pioneer  v/as  anxious  to  have  the  stumps  pulled  out 
of  Third  street.  The  Minnesota  river  was  navigated  some  300 
miles  for  the  first  time.  Two  hundred  and  fifty  families  then  lived 
in  the  city.  The  first  Court  House  was  commenced,  and  Dr. 
Day  was  paid  ^10  for  drawing  the  plans.  Vetal  Guerin  donated 
the  land.  Now,  in  1885,  plans  for  a  new  Court  House  have  been 
accepted  which  will  necessitate  an  outlay  of  not  less  than  ;^6oo,- 
000,  and  an  elegant  foundation  for  the  building  is  already  in. 
Land  for  the  present  Catholic  Cathedral  was  also  donated  this 
year.  The  new  jail  was  commenced.  The  Democrat  ysi?^^  started 
by  Col.  D.  A.  Robertson,  and  subsequently  purchased  by  Judge 
D.  A.  J.  Baker.  A  large  proportion  of  the  population  this  year 
was  French.  Now  it  is  German.  No  particular  public  improve- 
ments were  made  aside  from  the  above,  but  civilization  began  to 
gradually  push  out  barbarism  and  the  place  continued  to  steadily 


Mr.  Burbank  was  born  in  Vermont  in  1822;  worked  on  a 
farm  ;  received  only  a  common  school  education ;  taught  school ; 
opened  a  bookstore  at  Watertown,  N.  Y. ;  ran  an  express  to  New 
York  city ;  removed  to  Wisconsin  where  he  opened  and  worked 
a  farm;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850,  without  money  and  without 
friends,  and  was  the  first  express  messenger  between  St.  Paul 


and  Galena,  carrying  the  express  matter  in  his  pocket,  and  later 
along  when  he  secured  a  sub-contract  for  carrying  the  mail — it 
consisted  of  one  bag!  He  engaged  for  a  while  in  the  lumbering 
business, and  on  leaving  that  established  in  185  i,  the  first  express 
which  ran  between  St.  Paul  and  (jalena.  In  1852  he  formed  a 
partnership  with  W.  L.  Fawcett ;  then  with  Ed.  Holcombe ;  then 
with  C.  T.  Whitney,  the  other  partners  retiring,  and  engaged  in 
the  forwarding  business  ;  then,  in  1854,  the  Northwestern  Express 
Company  was  organized,  and  in  1856  Whitney  went  out  of  the 
concern  and  Capt.  Russell  Blakely  became  a  partner.  In  1857 
Burbank  &  Co.  put  a  line  of  stages  on  the  route  East  to  compete 
with  Walker  &  Co. ;  secured  the  mail  contract  in  1858  ;  "  hitched 
horses"  with  Allen  &  Chase,  and  in  1859  the  Minnesota  Stage 
Company  was  organized;  in  i860  John  L.  Merriam  entered  the 
firm,  and  for  seven  years  Burbank,  Blakely  &  Merriam  were  the 
**  high-cock-a-lorums  "  in  the  stage  and  transportation  business  in 
the  Northwest.  Mr.  Burbank  continued  in  these  avocations  up 
to  1867,  when  he  devoted  himself  to  insurance,  banking,  railroad 
and  other  enterprises.  He  was  the  president  of  the  Chamber  of 
Commerce  from  1869  to  1881  ;  was  largely  interested  in  the  St. 
Paul  &  Sioux  City  Railroad,  in  which  he  was  a  director  ;  was  an 
active  organizer  of  the  St.  Paul  Fire  and  Marine  Insurance  Com- 
pany, and  was  its  president  and  financial  manager;  in  1873  was 
one  of  the  early  originators  of  the  Street  Railway  Company;  was 
president  of  the  same ;  and  then,  while  engaged  in  many  useful 
occupations,  he  died  in  1876,  aged  fifty-four  years. 

AS    MR.  burbank    LOOKED — INCIDENTS. 

J.  C.  Burbank  was  a  well-developed  man,  strong,  rugged, 
tough,  decided,  the  very  picture  of  health  and  vim,  and  pos- 
sessed native,  uncultivated  talents,  which  made  him  a  marked 
character.  He  was  strong  in  good,  common  sense  ;  clear  in  his 
business  perceptions;  prompt  to  act;  industrious;  self-reliant, 
with  good  judgment,  and  a  man  of  excellent  tastes.  Had  he 
lived  until  to-day  he  would  have  been  a  very  rich  man. 

Riding  with  him  one  day  he  remarked — "I  have  just  paid 
;^2  5,ooo  on  my  old  Sioux  City  Railroad  stock,  but  it  don't  pay." 
"  Well,  what  did  you  do  that  fc^,"  I  asked,  "  if  it  does  not 
pay?"    "Oh!    to  save  the  other  525,000  already  in."     Riding 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  217 

with  him  some  six  months  afterwards  he  again  remarked — "  I 
have  paid  in  $25,000  more  on  my  old  Sioux  City  stock!" 
**  Heavens  save  us,"  I  repHed,  "  why  do  you  persist  in  sinking 
money  in  that  way  ?"  "  Can't  help  it,"  was  his  response.  "  I  must 
protect  the  ;^50,ooo  already  in,  and  I  have  faith  in  the  future." 
After  his  death  his  estate  realized  a  very  large  sum  from  this 
investment  alone. 

"That  tree  is  worth  1^500  to  the  people  who  ride  on  Summit 
avenue,"  he  said  to  the  writer  one  day  as  he  stopped  his  horse 
and  pointed  to  a  beautiful  Norway  spruce,  some  forty  feet  high, 
then  in  the  yard  owned  by  the  author  of  these  articles.  "  Why, 
Burbank,  I  didn't  know  you  were  such  a  lover  of  nature,"  was 
my  response,  when  he  offered  $1,000  to  put  that  same  tree  down 
in  his  own  yard  in  as  good  a  condition  as  it  then  stood.  Bur- 
bank  is  gone ;  the  tree  is  gone ;  both  his  and  my  own  homestead 
are  gone ;  the  little  girls  who  used  to  gambol  on  the  green  sward, 
are  gone ;  and  the  charming  spot  which  to  him  was  so  dear,  has 
passed  into  other  hands.  Such  is  life !  He  was  an  excellent  citi- 
zen ;  a  good  neighbor ;  a  fine  business  man ;  public-spirited ; 
genial,  pleasant  and  manly. 


Colonel  Robertson  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  181 3,  and 
is  a  descendant  of  the  Highland  Scotch  ;  studied  law  in  New 
York;  was  admitted  to  practice  in  1839;  removed  to  Ohio; 
became  the  editor  of  the  Cincinnati  Enquirer,  Mount  Vernon 
Banner,  and  other  papers ;  was  appointed  U.  S.  Marshal  in  1 844 
for  the  State  of  Ohio,  which  office  he  held  four  years ;  was  a 
member  of  the  constitutional  convention  of  Ohio  ;  resigned  the 
position  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850;  established  the  Minne- 
sota Democrat  that  year ;  was  elected  a  member  of  the  House  of 
Representatives  in  1859  and  i860;  Sheriff  in  1863,  serving  two 
terms ;  was  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Education  ;  a  member 
and  a  great  promoter  of  the  Historical  Society  and  the  Academy 
of  Sciences  ;  is  a  director  of  the  St.  Paul  Library ;  organized 
the  first  Grange  of  Patrons  of  Husbandry  in  the  United  States, 
giving  it  a  splendid  set  of  books;  speculated  in  real  estate; 
made  money  ;  visited  Europe ;  accumulated  a  very  fine  library, 
consisting  of  several  thousand  volumes,  which  he  sold  to  the  State 


Univ^ersity  ;  is  a  member  of  the  National  Scientific  Society  ;  wrote 
several  works  which  have  never  been  published ;  has  lectured 
on  history,  political  and  social  science,  and  is  still  an  earnest 
lover  of  literature  in  all  its  departments. 

THE    COLONEL   AS    I    SEE    HIM. 

Colonel  Robertson  has  the  appearance  of  a  man  who  has 
spent  most  of  his  life  in  the  army.  He  possesses  a  good  physi- 
cal organization,  is  well  built,  stands  erect,  walks  dignifiedly,  and 
has  a  commanding  manner,  giving  one  the  impression  that  he 
had  been  trained  in  a  military  school.  He  has  been  a  great 
student  all  his  life,  and  his  library  room  is  his  battle  field.  No 
matter  how  abstruse  a  subject  may  be,  or  how  deep,  or  how 
perplexing,  Colonel  Robertson  attacks  it  as  vigorously  as  Grant 
did  the  Confederate  forces  in  the  war,  and  he  usually  comes 
off  victorious.  I  remember  visiting  his  rooms  years  ago  when 
the  question  of  scientific  agriculture  was  exercising  the  public 
mind,  and  such  an  array  of  documents,  papers,  books,  writing 
material  and  manuscript,  never  met  my  vision  before,  even  in  an 
editor's  office.  Literary  pursuits  seem  to  be  a  part  of  the 
Colonel's  existence,  and  if  there  is  anything  he  enjoys  in  life  it 
is  the  pleasure  derived  from  his  books.  He  is  a  very  social 
man;  always  ready  to  talk  and  does  talk ;  is  public-spirited;  a 
lover  of  nature  and  a  citizen  much  respected.  His  striking  pecu- 
liarity is  the  manner  in  which  he  seeks  to  impress  one  with  his 
views,  and  in  this  regard  he  resembles  somewhat  Rev.  E.  D. 
Neill,  only  he  is  a  little  more  persistent.  When  he  was  younger 
he  was  a  great  politician,  that  is,  of  the  Dem.ocratic  persuasion, 
and  his  political  writings  indicate  strength  and  terseness,  with 
great  boldness  of  expression,  especially  in  attacking  an  antago- 
nist. He  has  just  passed  seventy  years,  yet  is  hale,  hearty  and 
active,  and  in  1885  was  residing  with  his  wife  in  Europe. 

R.  R.  NELSON. 

Judge  Nelson  was  born  in  Cooperstown,  N.  Y.,  in  1826  ;  is 
the  son  of  the  late  Judge  Samuel  Nelson,  once  one  of  the  Judges 
of  the  United  States  Supreme  Court ;  studied  law  in  his  father's 
office  and  also  in  that  of  the  late  Judge  J.  R.  Whiting,  and  prac- 
ticed   in    his    native   State;    came   to    St.  Paul   in    1850 ;    was 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  219 

appointed  one  of  the  Supreme  Judges  of  the  Territory  of  Minne- 
sota in  1857  ;  subsequently,  in  1858,  was  appointed  United  States 
District  Judge  by  President  Buchanan,  which  office  he  has  filled 
for  the  past  twenty-seven  years. 

THE    JUDGE    AS    HE    IS. 

No  man  walks  the  streets  of  St.  Paul  upon  whom  the  man- 
tle of  judge  sits  so  grandly  and  so  becomingly,  as  that  of  Judge 
Nelson.  On  the  bench  or  off  it  he  is  every  inch  a  judge,  and  for 
over  a  quarter  of  a  century  he  has  impartially  and  ably  adminis- 
tered justice  under  the  law  to  hundreds  of  culprits,  and  yet  I 
know  of  no  instance  where  any  injustice  has  been  done.  The 
Judge  is  a  fine-looking  man ;  well  rounded  out  into  excellent 
proportions ;  is  serene,  dignified,  yet  affable ;  moves  silently 
among  his  fellow-men,  and  as  a  citizen  is  greatly  respected.  As 
a  judge  he  ranks  among  the  first.  His  decisions  are  clear,  sound 
and  just.  He  has  a  very  kind  heart,  but  never  allows  that  to 
swerve  him  from  the  path  of  duty.  He  studies  his  cases  thor- 
oughly, is  anxious  to  arrive  at  the  truth,  and  conscientiously  per- 
forms the  duties  imposed  upon  him.  In  early  days  the  Judge 
made  investments  in  St.  Paul  which  are  now  very  valuable,  and 
had  his  interests  in  Superior  City  turned  out  as  was  expected,  he 
would  have  been  a  very  rich  man.  As  it  is,  he  is  comfortably 
well  off,  and  in  the  eyes  of  the  public  enjoys  as  much  of  life  as 
most  men  are  entitled  to.  He  dignifies  the  great  nation  of  which 
he  is  an  honored  and  honorable  judge,  and  reflects  credit  upon 
the  profession  of  which  he  is  at  the  head. 

HOLE-IN-THE-DAY,   the    famous    INDIAN    CHIEF. 

Hole-in-the-Day  was  a  great  friend  of  the  whites,  and  finally 
married  a  Caucasian  woman  at  Washington.  He  was  born  in 
Minnesota,  and  his  father  before  him  was  a  great  chief  of  the 
Chippewa  Indians,  both  of  whom  are  now  dead  and  buried  upon 
a  hill  about  two  miles  above  Little  Falls  on  the  Mississippi  river. 
In  1850  Hole-in-the-Day  took  a  Sioux  scalp  on  the  west  side  of 
the  river,  opposite  St.  Paul,  which  event  is  thus  described  by  the 
Pioneer. o(  that  date: 

"  On  Wednesday  there  was  great  excitement  in  St.  Paul — Indians  yelling  at 
each  other  across  the  river,  and  running  up  and  down  the  shore,  canoes  crossing  the 


river,  and  everything  betokening  the  utmost  exasperation.  It  peems  that  news  had 
reached  them  that  a  party  of  Sioux  were  overtaken  a  short  distance  out  of  St.  Paul, 
two  murdered  and  three  taken  prisoners.  At  this  moment  a  company  of  Sioux  have 
started  northward  through  town,  stripped  of  their  blankets,  in  pursuit  of  the  das- 
tardly murderers.  This  is  the  first  blow  struck  by  the  Chippewas  in  revenge  for 
fourteen  of  their  tribe  murdered  the  other  day  in  a  sugar  camp,  by  the  Sioux." 

It  seems  that  Hole-in-the-Day  came  down  the  river  in  a 
canoe  as  far  as  Fountain  Cave ;  crossed  over  to  the  other  side ; 
secreted  his  boat  in  the  bushes  near  the  trail  which  the  Sioux 
took  to  Mendota ;  fell  upon  a  company  of  three  or  four  ;  killed 
and  scalped  one ;  recrossed  the  river  and  put  for  home,  having 
traveled  eighty  miles  in  twenty-four  hours.  The  reader  should 
remember  that  the  Chippewa  country  then  embraced  the  land  on 
the  east  side  of  the  river,  while  that  of  the  Sioux  was  on  the 
west ;  and  when  it  is  recorded  as  a  matter  of  history  that  this 
event  occurred  almost  in  our  midst  in  the  year  1850,  one  can 
realize  the  rapid  strides  civilization  has  made  since  that  time. 
Hole-in-the-Day  was  a  large,  splendid  specimen  of  an  Indian 
warrior,  of  whom  I  shall  have  more  to  say  in  a  subsequent  chap- 


Born  in  New  York  in  1824,  Mr.  Stillwell  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1850,  and  has  ever  since  been  engaged  in  the  building  and 
contracting  business.  He  erected  the  old  Merchants  hotel  when 
owned  by  Col.  Shaw,  and  has  been  as  true  to  his  line  of  business 
as  the  needle  is  to  the  pole,  and  what  he  has  done  or  may  do, 
has  been  and  will  be  done  well.  He  is  a  steady,  industrious 
man,  and  peculiar  in  the  fact  that  he  is  very  unostentatious  and 
undemonstrative.  He  is  a  good  deal  of  a  politician  of  the  Re- 
publican order,  and  is  very  much  like  a  sti//  ivell — deep,  cool  and 
quiet;  a  good  mechanic,  a  good  man,  a  good  citizen. 


Mr.  Moore  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1824;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1850;  his  grandfather  was  in  the  Continental  army  from 
New  Jersey ;  George  attended  school  held  in  a  log  cabin  about 
six  months  in  the  year,  and  in  1838  learned  the  printing  business, 
and  then  attended  an  academy  for  about  two  years,  during  which 
time  he  did  a  little  teaching  ;  worked  in  a  book  office  in  New  York, 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  221 

leaving  there  when  twenty-six  years  of  age  and  coming  to  St. 
Paul.  On  arriving  in  this  city  he  became  foreman  of  the  Pioneer 
office,  owned  by  Goodhue,  and  in  1852  became  one  of  the  pub- 
hshers  of  the  Minnesotian,  and  continued  so  up  to  1859,  and  then 
the  Times  was  united  with  the  Minnesotian  and  the  firm — New- 
son,  Moore,  Foster  &  Co.,  was  elected  that  year  to  do  the  Legis- 
lative printing.  Soon  after  this  he  retired  from  the  printing  busi- 
ness, and  in  1861  was  appointed  Deputy  Collector  of  Customs 
and  custodian  of  the  Custom  House,  St.  Paul,  by  President 
Lincoln,  which  office  he  held  uninterruptedly  for  nearly  eigh- 
teen years,  and  to  the  general  satisfaction  of  the  party  and  the 
people.  He  was  an  Alderman  from  the  Fourth  ward  for  a  term 
of  three  years — 1866-'69 — during  one  year  of  which  he  was  vice- 
president  of  the  committee  on  streets. 


Mr.  Moore  was  a  natural  politician.  He  was  once  a  Henry 
Clay  Whig,  but  early  espoused  the  Republican  cause  and  fought 
it  out  desperately  on  that  line.  I  have  seen  him  stand  at  the 
polls  and  challenge  the  Irish  Democrats  until  he  had  scarcely  a 
garment  left  on  his  back.  In  those  days  of  twenty-five  years 
ago,  the  Irish  were  different  from  what  they  are  now.  Then 
whisky  was  the  dominant  element  and  common  sense  was  at 
a  discount.  Fights  at  the  polls  were  almost  universal,  and  the 
Irish,  or  rather  whisky,  was  usually  the  aggressor  ;  now,  through 
the  influence  of  Bishop  Ireland  and  the  good  sense  of  the  Irish 
people  themselves,  no  more  orderly  or  sober  class  of  men  can 
be  found  at  the  voting  precincts  on  election  days,  than  the  sons 
of  "  Erin  mavureen,  Erin  go  braugh."  Mr.  Moore  not  only 
worked  in  the  ranks  where  work  would  tell,  but  he  served  as 
chairman  on  the  county  committee  for  a  good  many  years.  He 
took  a  decided  stand  at  the  door  of  IngersoU  Hall  at  the  time 
the  Republican  convention  split,  one  section  nominating  Hub- 
bard and  the  other  Donnelly.  Hubbard  resigned  and  Andrews 
was  subsequently  nominated.  I  instance  these  cases  to  show 
the  dogged  persistency  with  which  Moore  carried  out  his  politi- 
cal ideas.  When  he  got  his  eyes  "  sot "  politically,  notliing  could 
move  them.  He  struck  from  the  shoulder  because  he  always 
attended  the  primary  meetings,  and   stood  at  the  polls  where 


effective  work  did  great  good.     Besides  Moore  was  a  good  politi- 
cal planner. 

AS   A   MAN. 

In  his  palmy  days  Moore  was  a  thick-set,  somewhat  lym- 
phatic individual ;  good-natured ;  moderate  in  his  movements 
and  in  his  speech.  He  had  great  decision  of  character,  and  when 
he  had  decided  upon  a  question  it  was  very  difficult  to  mov^e 
him.  Generally  he  was  not  free  to  advance  opinions  of  his  own, 
but  rather  adopted  the  opinions  of  those  in  whom  he  had  confi- 
dence, and  then  he  fought  desperately  to  maintain  them.  He 
was  a  good  printer,  and  a  good  writer,  industrious,  honest,  cool, 
calm,  and  a  pleasant  companion.  As  a  government  officer  he 
was  prompt  and  faithful  in  the  discharge  of  his  duties.  He  mar- 
ried a  Miss  Tuttle  and  owns  property  on  Dayton  and  Selby 
avenues,  which  has  now  become  very  valuable.  Mr.  Moore  has 
been  an  invalid  for  many  years,  and  his  apparent  want  of  energy 
no  doubt  may  be  attributed  to  this  cause.  He  is  an  old  land- 
mark and  was  once  a  partner  of  the  wTiter.  He  has  my  kindest 
wishes  for  his  continued  prosperity  and  ultimate  restoration  to 

WM.    G.    LE    DUG. 

Gen.  Le  Due  is  of  French  descent,  his  father  having  been 
in  the  French  army,  but  the  General  himself  was  born  in  Ohio 
in  1832.  When  a  lad  he  was  educated  at  Kenyon  College  and 
graduated  with  the  honorary  degree  of  A.  M. ;  admitted  to  prac- 
tice law  in  1849;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850;  practiced  his  pro- 
fession in  this  city ;  dealt  in  real  estate  and  made  mercantile  ven- 
tures up  to  1856,  when  he  removed  to  Hastings,  and  there 
engaged  in  milling  and  town  site  speculations ;  entered  the  army 
as  Captain  Assistant  Quartermaster  in  1862;  was  on  General 
Dana's  staff  as  Chief  Quartermaster  in  the  field ;  was  on  the  com- 
mission to  examine  quartermasters ;  was  promoted  to  Brevet- 
Brigadier  General ;  resigned  in  1865;  returned  to  Hastings; 
organized  the  Hastings  and  Dakota  Railroad  Company  ;  was 
president  of  the  same  until  1870;  was  appointed  United  States 
Commissioner  of  Agriculture  by  President  Hayes,  and  held  the 
office  several  years,  during  which  time  he  sought  to  demonstrate 
that  tea  could  be  grown  in  this  country  and  that  we  could  also 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  223 

raise  our  sugar  and  our  molasses.     He   is  now  a  resident  of 


In  1853  Le  Due  kept  a  small  assortment  of  books  and  sta- 
tionery in  a  one-story  little  white  wooden  building  which  stood 
on  the  south  corner  of  the  present  IngersoU  block.  He  was 
quite  intimate  with  Mr.  Brown  of  the  Pioneer,  (who  at  that  time 
was  a  member  of  the  Legislature,)  and  Le  Due  was  a  great 
schemer,  always  proposing  something  new.  He  dealt  also  in  real 

I  think  he  was  the  originator  of  the  proposition  which  was 
made  to  Mr.  Brown  in  the  presence  of  the  writer,  to  secure  a 
charter  of  the  Legislature  to  furnish  the  city  with  water.  I 
remember  he  was  very  enthusiastic  over  the  matter  and  urged  it 
upon  Mr.  Brown  with  a  great  deal  of  eloquence.  The  plan  was  to 
take  water  from  the  Mississippi  river  and  convey  it  in  barrels  to 
the  houses  of  the  citizens,  for  which  they  were  to  pay  a  stipu- 
lated price.  At  that  early  day  it  was  considered  a  gigantic  enter- 
prise, and  the  charter  was  supposed  to  be  very  valuable.  Now 
the  water-works  of  the  city  cost  probably,  $1, ©00,000,  and  thou- 
sands of  barrels  of  water  daily  are  required  to  supply  the  demand. 
Then  and  now ! — what  a  change !  I  little  thought  at  this  time 
that  this  same  active,  bustling,  energetic,  wide-awake  man 
would  be  United  States  Commissioner  of  Agriculture  and  stand 
at  the  head  in  Washington  of  the  greatest  industry  of  the  nation, 
and  yet  such  is  the  fact. 

A  tall,  quick,  active  man,  with  positive  convictions,  fertile 
in  expedients,  with  a  restless  brain  and  unbounded  energy,  are 
the  peculiarities  which  marked  Gen.  Le  Due  as  I  saw  him  in 
1853,  and  even  later  in  life. 


The  first  brick  house  on  the  bluff  on  the  south  side  of  Third 
street,  was  built  by  Mr.  Le  Due  in  the  winter  of  1853,  and  as 
soon  as  completed  it  was  occupied  as  the  post  office.  Then  it 
became  a  saloon ;  then  the  office  of  the  Minnesotian  ;  then  the 
Times  and   Minnesotian,  and  in  this  building  the  old  St.  Paul 


Press  was  born.  Now  the  place  is  known  as  the  Tivoh',  where 
ingredients  for  the  stomach  are  served  up  instead  of  ingredients 
for  the  brain.  And  thus  the  march  of  years  continues  while  the 
wheels  of  time  involve  changes  that  startle  us  with  their  vivid 
records  of  a  by-gone  age. 


Mr.  Oakes  was  a  kind,  genial  gentleman  all  of  the  olden 
times,  and  a  memory  of  his  pleasant  ways  comes  back  to  me 
laden  with  many  recollections  of  by-gone  years.  He  was  simi- 
lar in  character  to  Mr.  Brown,  of  whom  I  have  written,  and  had 
many  of  his  pleasing  peculiarities,  among  which  was  that  favor- 
ite expression,  "  by  George  !  "  In  all  the  years  of  my  acquaint- 
ance with  Mr.  Oakes,  I  never  saw  him  out  of  temper  once,  or  if 
so,  it  was  with  a  half  smile  upon  his  lips.  He  was  a  rare  speci- 
men of  one  of  the  old  land-marks  in  the  history  of  the  North- 
west, and  to  those  who  knew  him  well,  as  the  writer  did,  his 
memory  will  grow  dearer  as  years  advance. 


Mr.  Oakes  was  born  in  Vermont  in  1803  ;  his  father  was  a 
merchant  and  manufacturer,  and  at  one  time  was  sheriff  in 
Michigan.  The  son  received  only  a  common  school  education ; 
clerked  in  a  store  for  a  short  time;  came  to  Chicago  in  1821  ; 
was  employed  in  the  sutler's  department  when  there  were  only 
two  white  people  in  Chicago ;  removed  to  Sault  Ste.  Marie  in 
1822;  engaged  in  the  mercantile  business  two  years,  and  then 
commenced  trading  with  the  Indians,  employing  voyageurs,  etc., 
which  he  followed  for  some  time,  when  he  connected  himself 
with  the  American  Fur  Company,  and  continued  in  this  business 
up  to  1834.  During  the  trips  Mr.  Oakes  made  at  this  time 
among  the  Indians  in  search  for  fur,  he  experienced  many  hard- 
ships, and  in  one  case  particularly,  where  he  froze  his  feet. 
Mr.  Oakes  had  other  narrow  escapes ;  once  when  the  Indians 
wanted  to  kill  him  because  he  would  not  giv^e  them  whisky,  but 
he  promised  them  in  the  spring  when  they  brought  in  their  fur, 
to  treat  them  all  round,  and  this  satisfied  them.  Mr.  Oakes  kept 
his  promise  and  the  Indians  were  happy. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN,  225 


He  suffered  many  privations  as  most  voyageurs  and  explor- 
ers do,  but  came  out  of  his  trials  all  right,  and  from  1834  up  to 
1838  was  in  Michigan  engaged  in  speculating,  out  of  which  he 
made  some  money  and  loaned  ;^5,ooo  of  it  to  parties  in  Chicago, 
who  urged  him  to  take  in  pay  a  block  of  land  on  Clark  street 
now  worth  ;^ 1, 000,000;  but  he  had  no  faith  in  Chicago  "  mud," 
and  accepted  in  lieu  therefor  '*  Red-dog "  money  and  realized 
nothing  for  his  ;^5,ooo!  In  1838  he  resumed  his  connection  with 
the  American  Fur  Company  and  continued  with  them  up  to 
1850,  when  he  removed  to  St.  Paul,  and  in  1853,  in  company 
with  his  brother-in-law,  Charles  W.  Borup,  opened  a  bank,  of 
which  I  have  already  spoken  in  a  previous  article.  Mr.  Borup 
died  in  1859,  but  the  banking  business  was  continued  until  1866, 
when  Mr.  Oakes  retired  from  the  concern,  visited  Europe,  and 
for  several  years  after  enjoyed  a  quiet  and  serene  life. 

MR.  OAKES    as    A    MAN. 

Tall,  well-proportioned,  hale,  hearty,  with  gray  hairs  ;  a  face 
beaming  with  smiles,  and  a  voice  low  and  musical,  were  pecu- 
liarities which  caused  Mr.  Oakes  to  be  cordially  welcomed  wher- 
ever he  went.  His  affability  won  him  many  friends.  His  system 
bubbled  over  with  good  nature.  His  heart  was  young  even  in 
old  age.  He  carried  sunshine  in  his  eyes,  and  there  was  music 
in  his  laugh.  **  By  George !  is  that  so  ?  "  will  be  recognized  by 
those  who  best  knew  Mr.  Oakes. 

"  GO    SEE    HIM,  OAKES — GO    SEE    HIM  !  " 

Borup  was  naturally  impetuous,  as  all  men  with  heart- 
disease  are,  and  many  times  he  unintentionally  offended  some 
of  his  best  customers.  Then,  after  business,  he  would  meet  Mr. 
Oakes  at  his  own  house  and  talk  over  the  affairs  of  the  day. 
Suddenly    he   would  break    out — **  Oakes,   I    know    I    offended 

Mr. to-day.    Go  see  him  ;  see  him  ;  make  it  right  with  him." 

And  Mr.  Oakes  would  call  upon  the  customer,  engage  him  in 
conversation,  and  before  he  left  convince  him  that  Mr.  Borup  was 
one  of  the  best  friends  he  had  in  the  city.  Of  course  the  next 
day  Borup  would  treat  the  gentleman  with  the  utmost  courtesy, 


and  everything  thereafter  would  move  along  smoothly.  This 
occurred  not  once,  but  many  times,  and  well  illustrates  what  I 
have  previously  said,  "that  Borup  &  Oakes  got  along  well  to- 
gether as  partners,  as  Borup  did  the  business  and  Oakes  always 
agreed  with  him  ;  "  but  afcer  all  Mr.  Oakes  was  an  important 
spoke  in  the  wheel. 


Mr.  Oakes  had  always  been  a  great  walker,  and  he  claimed 
he  kept  his  health  by  out-door  exercise.  He  made  it  a  habit  to 
walk  not  less  than  six  miles  per  day.  Meeting  him  for  the  first 
time  in  1853,  I  presented  him  with  a  check  for  ^^130  on  his  bank, 
but  the  graceful  manner  in  which  he  informed  me  that  there  v/ere 
no  funds  in  hand,  impressed  me  most  favorably  with  the  man.  I 
was  in  his  company  many  times  afterwards  and  under  trying 
circumstances,  and  always  found  him  kind  and  pleasant. 

THE    END. 

I  met  him  the  last  time  on  Third  street,  just  as  I  was  leav- 
ing for  the  Missouri  river.  I  thought  his  step  was  not  as  steady 
as  formerly,  that  he  was  a  little  more  bent  in  the  shoulders  than 
usual,  and  that  his  face  had  lost  somewhat  of  its  rugged  appear- 
ance ;  yet  his  smile  was  the  same  ;  his  greeting  more  cordial,  and 
his  voice  even  more  pleasant.  On  my  return  he  was  dead  ! 
And  thus  another  old  oak  in  the  forest  of  human  existence  had 
been  swept  away  by  the  cyclone  death,  leaving  many  true  friends 
to  mourn  its  fall.  Mr.  Oakes  was  close  to  eighty  years  when 
he  died. 

MRS.    CHARLES    H.    OAKES. 

If  years  crown  goodness  with  undying  laurels,  then  in  the 
case  of  Mrs.  Oakes  the  years  have  been  very  generous.  A  bright, 
pleasant  eye,  dark  hair,  threaded  with  gray,  a  brunette  complex- 
ion, sweet,  engaging  manners  and  a  pleasant  smile,  are  graces 
which  adorn  the  oldest  and  best  known  lady  resident  of  the  city. 
Born  in  181 2,  Mrs.  Oakes  looks  as  fresh  and  young  as  a  wonian 
of  thirty,  and  yet  she  has  lived  to  see  her  husband,  her  sister, 
and  her  sister's  husband,  and  all  her  children  but  one,  pass  into 
the  silent  land.  Thirty  years  ago  the  writer  spent  an  evening 
in  her  pleasant  home,  when  George,  and  Charlie,  and  David,  and 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  227 

Jane,  and  grandpapa,  and  Mr.  Oakes,  and  Mrs.  Oakes,  and  her 
sister,  Mrs.  Borup,  and  Mr.  Borup,  graced  the  social  circle. 
Then  they  numbered  nine— now  they  number  two.  Since  then 
Gen.  Van  Etten,  former  husband  of  Miss  Jane,  has  joined  "the 
innumerable  caravan  gone  before,"  making  eight  out  of  ten  in 
thirty  years,  of  this  family  who  have  crossed  the  mystic  river ; 
and  yet  serenely,  and  calmly,  and  pleasantly,  and  hopefully, 
the  mother,  the  wife,  the  sister,  the  friend  patiently  awaits  the 
messenger,  ready  at  a  moment's   call 

"To  draw  the  drapery  of  her  couch  about  her, 
And  lie  down  to  pleasant  dreams." 

And  so  the  years  roll  on  like  the  surging  waves  of  the  ocean, 
and  foot-prints  on  the  sands  of  time  of  to-day  are  all  obliterated 
in  the  brief  period  of  thirty-five  years.  Within  this  magic  cir- 
cle the  original  tree  and  its  branches  disappear,  and  from  the  roots 
spring  new  shoots,  which,  in  their  turn,  must  follow  the  everlast- 
ing, eternal  vvheel  of  time. 


Mr.  Monti  was  born  in  Switzerland,  Italy,  in  1834  ;  came  to 
this  country  when  five  years  old  ;  lived  in  New  York  city ;  was 
engaged  as  teamster  in  the  Mexican  war  in  1846,  and  lost  a  leg 
in  the  service ;  resided  for  some  time  after  the  war  in  New  Orleans, 
and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850.  He  married  a  Miss  St.  Cyr,  a 
French  girl,  whose  parents  resided  in  St.  Louis,  and  soon  after 
opened  a  dry- goods  and  grocery  store  nearly  opposite  the  old 
American  House  on  upper  Third  street.  He  sold  out  his  busi- 
ness and  became  connected  with  Louis  Robert  in  the  steamboat 
line,  in  which  he  continued  five  years  ;  removed  to  St.  Cloud  and 
engaged  in  business  there;  was  burned  out;  no  insurance; 
came  back  to  St.  Paul,  where  he  resided  until  his  death. 


He  at  one  time  owned  two  lots  on  Third  street  nearly  oppo- 
site the  old  American  House,  for  which  he  paid  $50;  sold  for 
$1,400;  worth  now  ;^  15,000.  He  purchased  forty  acres  on  St. 
Peter  street,  back  of  the  Park  Place  hotel,  for  ^200;  worth  now 
$50,000  ;  bought  a  claim  at  Cottage  Grove  of  160  acres  for  $20; 


worth    now  about  $io,ooo.     Monti  was   just  as  wise   as  many 
other  old  settlers  and  about  as  rich  when  he  died. 

When  living  he  drew  a  pension  of  ;$24  per  month  for  the 
loss  of  his  leg,  which  was  procured  for  him  by  special  legislation, 
but  the  moment  he  died  the  pension  stopped  and  his  widow  gets 
nothing.  Mrs.  Monti's  father,  I  am  informed,  was  in  the  war  of 
1 812  and  also  in  the  Black  Hawk  war;  was  a  mail  carrier  over 
100  years  ago  in  the  time  of  Gen,  Jackson,  and  occupied  a  prom- 
inent place  in  the  old  hero's  confidence. 


In  1879  and  some  time  before  this,  Mr.  Monti  had  been 
affected  with  dropsy,  and  in  1880  he  died.  While  in  the  cham- 
ber of  the  dead  Mrs.  Monti  heard  a  noise,  and  looking  up  saw  Mr. 
Monti  rise  up,  and  upon  approaching  him  found  him  to  be  alive. 
Unable  to  speak  she  looked  at  him  for  a  moment  and  then  dis- 
covered that  his  gray  hair  had  turned  black,  and  bursting  into 
tears  he  exclaimed — *'  Mother !  this  world  is  bad,  but  the  other 
is  worse,"  and  then  continued  to  weep.  He  lived  two  months 
afterwards,  and  just  before  he  died  remarked — "  I  am  near  the 
mansion."  He  was  a  generous,  kind-hearted  man ;  had  met 
Avith  many  losses  and  suffered  a  great  deal  before  he  left  for  that 
other  world  which  he  said  was  **  worse  than  this."  Poor  Monti ! 
if  what  he  had  revealed  to  him  was  true,  what  will  the  rest  of 
the  old  settlers  do  when  they  come  to  pass  the  boundary  line  ? 
Echo  comes  back — "  boundary  line." 


Capt.  Bell  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  18 16;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1850;  in  the  spring  of  185 1  made  a  claim  twelve  miles 
below  St.  Paul  at  a  place  now  called  Langdon,  but  he  found  he 
had  mistaken  his  calling  as  a  farmer,  and  returned  to  St.  Paul 
in  1 854  and  commenced  steamboating  on  the  Minnesota  river;  in 
1857  opened  a  wholesale  and  retail  grocery  store  in  connection 
with  his  brother,  H.  Y.  Bell,  in  Irvine  block,  upper  Third  street, 
and  here  they  offered  for  .':ale  in  this  city  the  first  carbon,  or  what 
is  now  known  as  kerosene  oil,  also  the  first  lamps  for  burning  it. 
Capt.  Bell  had  command  of  the  steamboat  that  took  down  the 
first  load  of  freight  on  the  Red  River  of  the  North  to  Winnipeg, 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  229 

at  which  time  Winnipeg  had  only  three  houses ;  built  the  first 
dam  on  the  Red  River  of  the  North  in  order  that  steamboats 
could  get  over  the  bar  at  Goose  rapids ;  moved  the  Winnebagoes 
by  steamboat  from  Mankato  to  St.  Paul  during  the  war ;  had 
charge  of  the  United  States  improvements  in  the  Minnesota  river 
for  several  years  ;  also  for  a  part  of  the  time  those  of  the  Wiscon- 
sin river  under  Gen.  G.  K.  Warren ;  superintended  the  building 
of  the  largest  dam  in  the  Mississippi  river  above  St.  Louis,  for 
the  Chicago  8i  Milwaukee  Railroad  Company,  and  this  dam  was 
constructed  after  Capt.  Bell's  own  patent;  conveyed  the  first  guns 
and  ammunition  in  the  Indian  war  to  points  on  the  Minnesota 


The  Captain  says  that  when  he  arrived  at  St.  Paul  the  first 
man  who  met  him  was  Judge  Goodrich,  and  he  called  out  to  him, 
without  an  introduction — "  Mister,  your  old  pung  looks  like  a 
broken-winged  duck."  And  indeed  it  did,  for  it  was  all  torn  to 
pieces  by  the  brush,  and  was  tied  together  by  straps  taken  from 
his  trunk,  as  he  had  made  the  trip  in  it  overland  from  below. 
He  says  that  then  there  was  not  a  house  north  of  Third  street, 
except  a  few  on  Robert  street.  All  the  boats  landed  at  the  upper 
levee  at  the  foot  of  Eagle  street.  Opposite  St.  Paul  (now  the 
Sixth  ward,  with  a  population  of  15,000,)  the  land  was  covered 
with  heavy  timber,  and  in  this  timber  the  Indians  made  their 
homes,  especially  in  the  winter.  From  Chestnut  street  to  near 
the  Cave  the  timber  was  also  very  dense  and  heavy. 


He  bought  one  acre  on  Pleasant  avenue  for  ;^300 ;  sold  it  for 
;$3,ooo;  worth  now  ;^25,ooo;  purchased  three  lots  on  Dayton 
avenue,  for  which  he  paid  about  ^$500;  he  holds  them  yet ;  worth 
;^30,ooo  without  the  houses.  When  the  writer  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1853,  Capt.  Bell's  little  white  house  was  away  out  of  town  and 
people  wondered  why  he  did  not  buy  somewhere  inside  of  civili- 
zation! But  now  he  is  surrounded  with  some  of  the  finest  man- 
sions in  the  city,  one  alone  costing  over  ;^  150,000!  He  is  the 
oldest  continuous  inhabitant  on  St.  Anthony  Hill,  and  has  lived 
in  his  present  house  near  a  quarter  of  a  century. 


Capt.  Bell  is  quite  a  genius.  He  is  the  inventor  of  the  best 
dams  in  the  Mississippi  river,  and  has  recently  brought  to  perfec- 
tion an  invention  to  wash  gold  and  silver  and  copper  from  the 
gravel  in  which  it  is  found,  or  from  the  rock  when  powdered. 


He  is  a  tall  man,  and  moves  over  the  ground  with  an  angular 
motion,  somewhat  like  persons  born  in  the  South.  He  takes  long 
strides,  and  comes  down  upon  one  like  a  huge  steamer  under  a 
full  head  of  steam.  He  is  a  man  of  positive  characteristics,  and 
.is  well  adapted  to  command.  What  he  knows  he  knows,  or  he 
sincerely  thinks  he  knows.  He  is  a  pusher  ;  that  is,  what  he  has 
to  do  he  does  energetically.  He  is  conservative  in  his  nature 
and  never  makes  a  venture.  He  is  kind,  pleasant,  talkative, 
social,  a  good  citizen  and  a  good  man,  and  has  accumulated 
enough  of  this  world's  goods  to  live  comfortably  the  remainder 
of  his  life.  His  wife  is  descended  from  one  of  the  finest  families 
in  Europe. 


In  August,  1862,  Captain  Bell  was  summoned  to  appear 
before  Gov.  Ramsey  and  Gen.  Sibley,  then  at  Fort  Snclling,  and 
engaged  to  run  his  boat  to  St.  Paul  as  quickl}-  as  possible  to 
get  ammunition  for  the  soldiers,  as  the  Indians  had  broken  out 
and  were  murdering  the  whites.  The  Captain  put  his  boat  under 
a  high  speed,  arrived  at  St.  Paul,  and  after  working  all  night, 
got  the  guns  and  ammunition  on  board,  and  steamed  back  again 
to  the  P'ort,  received  the  troops  at  once,  and  put  his  boat  up  the 
Minnesota  river,  and  at  Shakopee  commenced  to  unload,  carry- 
ing some  of  the  weapons  up  the  stream  to  other  places.  At 
Carver  the  scene  was  appalling.     The  Captain  says : 

"Men,  women  and  children  were  crowded  on  the  bank  of  the  river,  many  of 
them  in  their  night  clothes,  just  as  they  had  hurriedly  fled  from  their  homes,  on 
receiving  the  dread  news  that  "  the  Indians  were  coming  !  "  Some  had  come  from 
Glencoe  and  other  points  back  of  Henderson  and  Carver.  It  was  a  strange  scene. 
These  panic-stricken  refugees  were  overjoyed  at  the  sight  of  the  soldiers,  and 
appeared  much  relieved  to  find  that  steps  had  been  taken  to  protect  them.  We 
landed  the  balance  of  the  soldiers  at  Little  Rapids,  and  at  once  returned  to  Shako- 
pee.  Here  we  found  great  excitement  among  the  troops.  It  was  found  that  the 
balls  furnished  were  of  too  large  a  caliber  for  the  old  muskets  !     This   was   an   un- 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  231 

fortunate  and  awkward  dilemma,  certainly,  and  came  at  a  time  when  every  minute's 
delay  increased  the  alarm  and  impatience  of  the  people  of  the  valley,  whose  lives 
and  property  where  threatened  by  the  horde  of  red  demons  who  were  known  to  be 
devastating  the  settlements  but  a  few  miles  distant,  and  perhaps  pressing  on  towards 
the  towns  in  the  lower  valley.  Some  of  the  soldiers  tried  to  pare  down  the  balls, 
so  as  to  adapt  them  to  the  bore  of  their  muskets,  but  of  course  this  was  tedious 
and  unsatisfactory  work.  A  sadge  was  finally  used,  but  this,  too,  was  a  slow  way 
of  supplying  a  military  expedition  with  bullets  !  There  was,  at  the  time,  much 
discussion  and  fault-finding  by  the  impatient  people  and  journalists  about  this  matter 
of  unsuitable  ammunition,  and  attempts  were  made  to  lay  the  blame  upon  this  one 
and  that  one — even  upon  the  commander  of  the  expedition,  who  certainly  could  not 
have  been  responsible  for  it." 

The  fact  was,  there  were  no  decent  guns  in  the  State,  and 
none  to  be  had,  and  the  call  for  help  was  so  sudden  there  was 
no  time  to  ascertain  what  the  weapon  were,  or  what  kind  of  am- 
munition was  available,  so  that  neither  Gov.  Ramsey  nor  Gen. 
Sibley  was  to  blame  for  this  mishap. 


Captain  Starkey  was  born  in  England  in  1818;  came  to 
America  in  1849;  to  St.  Paul  in  1850;  was  Assistant  Secretary 
of  the  Territory  from  1850  to  1853;  a  member  of  the  Legisla- 
ture in  1857;  Speaker /r^/<^;;2  of  the  House  the  same  year;  Cap- 
tain of  the  St.  Paul  Light  Cavalry  in  1855  ;  on  duty  in  1857  to 
protect  settlers  at  Rum  river  from  Indians  ;  was  engaged  in  a 
battle ;  lost  one  man  ;  killed  two  Indians  and  took  seven  prison- 
ers ;  commanded  the  Chisago  Rangers  in  1861  to  hold  in  check 
the  Indians  on  the  St.  Croix;  raised  a  company  of  cavalry 
on  the  breaking  out  of  the  rebellion  and  tendered  it  to  the  gov- 
ernment, but  it  was  not  accepted;  in  1862,  at  the  time  of  the 
Indian  massacre,  was  in  command  of  a  company  of  mounted 
rangers  and  did  good  service  against  the  savages  ;  resided  at 
Columbus  in  1863;  ran  a  saw  mill;  was  County  Commis- 
sioner of  Anoka  County;  justice  of  the  peace;  engaged  in  rail- 
roading ;  made  the  first  survey  of  a  railroad  route  from  St. 
Paul  to  Lake  Superior,  which,  with  slight  modifications,  was 
subsequently  adopted ;  was  a  contractor  on  the  Lake  Superior 
&  Mississippi  Railroad — now  St.  Paul  &  Duluth — and  broke 
the  first  ground  for  the  construction  of  the  Northern  Pacific 



At  the  request  of  the  Board  of  PubHc  Works  in  1873,  Capt. 
Starkey  was  induced  to  take  charge  of  the  city  sewers  and 
inaugurate  a  system,  or  in  other  words  bring  order  out  of  chaos  ; 
this  he  succeeded  in  doing  by  estabhshing  a  sewer  department ; 
compiled  the  sewerage  ordinances,  and  prepared  plans  and  speci- 
fications for  a  large  number  of  main  and  lateral  sewers,  which 
were  constructed  under  his  supervision,  and  as  I  am  informed, 
there  has  been  no  material  change  in  Mr.  Starkey's  plan  or  sys- 
tem since,  although  succeeding  engineers  have  attempted  to  im- 
prove on  the  same.  Having,  therefore,  given  his  brain  and  long 
experience  to  the  city  for  a  low  salary,  his  connection  ceased 
with  the  city  in  1875.  That  his  labors  in  the  sewerage  depart- 
ment of  the  city  have  stood  the  test  of  years,  and  the  further 
fact  that  his  youngest  son,  Albert,  a  promising  engineer,  has 
now  sole  charge  of  the  city  sewerage  department,  is  a  source  of 
gratification  to  those  who  know  the  subject  of  my  sketch.  Capt. 
Starkey  is  at  present  a  member  of  the  Ramsey  County  Plat  Com- 
mission, and  has  recently  received  the  appointment  of  Assistant 
Inspector  of  Buildings  in  this  city.  His  son,  Edward,  is  now 
serving  his  second  term  as  Alderman  of  the  Fifth  ward. 

STARKEY    AS    A    MAN. 

Capt.  Starkey  is  a  well-built  and  well-preserved  man,  some- 
what on  the  old  English  gentleman  style ;  supple,  active,  humor- 
ous. He  is  a  man  of  fine  attainments ;  a  ready  writer,  a  poet, 
and  a  good  speaker.  In  the  early  days  of  the  Democratic  party 
he  was  a  man  of  influence  among  his  associates,  but  he  was  like 
many  others,  too  modest  to  ask  for  services  rendered,  and  there- 
fore got  nothing.  He  is  naturally  a  soldier;  brave  and  com- 
manding ;  loves  military  life,  and  had  fate  thrown  him  into  the 
regular  army  he  would  have  made  a  fine  record.  He  is  inde- 
pendent. Of  late  years  thinks  and  acts  politically  on  his  own 
individual  convictions ;  is  ambitious,  but  spurns  office  unless 
obtained  without  corruption ;  is  social,  even  playful  ;  always 
scatters  sunshine  wherever  he  goes,  although  dark  clouds  ma)' 
at  the  same  time  shade  the  heart.  He  is  kind,  genial,  temperate, 
honest  and  sympathetic ;  has  led  an  active,  useful  life,  and  though 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINX.  233 

not  recompensed  in  his  own  person  for  services  rendered  the 
city,  yet  it  must  be  gratifying  to  him  to  see  the  meritorious 
traits  of  his  family  fully  appreciated  by  a  discerning  public. 
Although  merging  on  to  seventy  years  he  is  a  man  apparently 
just  in  his  prime,  and  bids  fair  to  outlive  many  younger  men. 


A  rugged  son  of  Erin,  a  hardy  toiler,  a  saving,  thrifty,  hon- 
est, industrious  man,  is  bold,  bluff  John  Bell.  Who  of  the  old 
settlers  does  not  know  him  ?  Who  does  not  respect  him  for  his 
manly  qualities?  Mr.  Bell  was  born  in  the  north  of  Ireland  in 
1826;  came  to  America  in  1847,  ^^"^^  ^^^  ^  time  resided  in  Mas- 
sachusetts; arrived  in  St.  Paul  in  1850;  worked  for  Gov.  Ram- 
sey; married  in  1856;  for  a  number  of  years  was  engaged  in 
hauling  goods  for  the  government ;  in  later  years  took  contracts 
for  digging  cellars  ;  was  among  the  first  to  deal  in  lime  and 
cement  in  this  city,  and  is  engaged  in  this  business  now. 

He  was  offered  a  lot  on  the  corner  of  Bench  and  Wabasha 
streets  where  the  Tivoli  now  is,  for  ;^io;  couldn't  see  the  value; 
didn't  take  it ;  lot  now  worth  ^^20,000  ;  bought  of  Judge  Lam- 
bert the  block  in  lower  town  on  which  the  residence  of  Mr. 
Beaupre  stands,  for  ^^loo;  gave  it  to  his  brother  ;  brother  sold 
it  for  ;^900;  worth  now  ^^75, 000;  he  owns  fifty  feet  on  Third 
street,  between  Cedar  and  Wabasha,  for  which  he  paid  $300 ; 
worth  ^50,000;  purchased  a  lot  on  Minnesota  street  for  a  yoke 
of  cattle  with  horns  broken,  cost  ^^200;  land  worth  ;^ 20,000  ; 
owns  one  hundred  feet  on  the  same  street;  cost  ;S400,  worth 
$30,000 ;  owns  four  acres  on  Lake  Como,  for  which  he  paid 
$800,  mostly  in  work,  worth  $5,000;  could  have  bought  150  feet 
on  Fifth  Street  by  100  on  Minnesota,  for  $200,  worth  $40,000; 
helped  build  the  old  Lake  Como  road  for  Henry  McKenty,  and 
numerous  other  bargains  he  could  have  picked  up,  but  let  them 
slip — ^just  for  fun  ! 


Mr.  Bell  built  a  house  on  Minnesota  street  nearly  a  quarter 
of  a  century  ago,  where  he  now  lives,  and  in  this  place  he  has 
raised  a  family  of  five  boys  and  two  girls,  and  has  never  moved 
from  the  old  homestead.     Clerk  Bell,  of  the  District  Court,  is  his 


oldest  son,  and  he  is  a  bright,  promising  young  man.  John  Bell 
has  never  known  the  luxury  of  moving,  and  this  may  account 
in  a  great  degree  for  his  uniform  temper,  although  he  does  some- 
times get  angry,  probably  because  he  can't  move.  In  addition 
to  his  other  property  he  has  a  store  on  Third  street  for  which  he 
receives  a  rental  of  $\^G  per  month. 

While  Mr.  Bell  has  been  and  is  now  a  hard-working,  indus- 
trious man,  yet  he  has  a  good  deal  of  vim  in  him,  and  those 
who  attempt  to  run  over  him  usually  get  bit.  He  is  strong, 
sinewy,  tough  ;  has  a  good  stock  of  common  sense,  and  great 
will-power.  He  has  accumulated  his  property  by  "  the  sweat  of 
his  brow,"  and  is  a  sturdy  citizen.  When  thoroughly  excited 
he  is  like  a  lion  and  bears  down  upon  his  opponent  with  all  the 
force  at  his  command,  and  yet  he  is  a  solid,  worthy,  good  man, 
pleasant  and  agree  ible  in  the  every-day  walks  of  life. 


Born  in  Canada  in  1837;  had  a  common  school  education  ; 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850,  where  he  learned  the  trade  of  shoe- 
maker ;  was  afterward  cabin  boy  on  a  Mississippi  river  steam- 
boat ;  followed  boating  thereafter  seventeen  years  ;  engaged  in 
the  grocery  business  in  this  city,  and  is,  or  was  until  recently^ 
proprietor  of  a  large  retail  grocery  store.  He  married  Miss 
Anne  Murphy. 


Was  born  in  England  in  1844;  came  to  America  at  an 
early  day,  and  settled  in  Philadelphia;  removed  to  St.  Paul  in 
1 850;  was  engaged  with  his  father  in  the  jewelry  business  on 
Jackson  street  until  he  became  of  age,  when  he  went  to  Chicago 
to  learn  photography ;  established  himself  in  business  in  this 
city  in  1867,  where  he  has  continued  ever  since.  He  has  taken 
views  in  the  Black  Hills,  Montana,  and  in  many  other  places, 
and  ranks  high  in  his  profession.  He  is  a  quiet  man,  unosten- 
tatious, and  devoted  to  his  art. 


Born  in  England  in  1820;  came  to  the  United  States  in 
1842;  resided  for  a  short  time  in  Kentucky;  removed  to  St. 
Paul  in   1850;   engaged  in  the  mercantile  business  until  1861  ; 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  235 

was  a  member  of  the  City  Council ;  president  of  the  same ;  and 
during  the  above  year  was  appointed  Register  of  the  U.  S.  land 
office  at  Duluth,  then  a  place  of  three  houses,  and  where  he 
went  to  reside  and  continued  to  live  until  his  death ;  remained  in 
office  eight  years  ;  was  Auditor  of  St.  Louis  County  nine  years ; 
was  a  member  of  the  Legislature  in  187 1-2  ;  was  an  active  pro- 
moter of  a  railroad  to  the  Lake,  especially  to  Duluth,  and  he 
lived  long  enough  to  see  this  enterprise  completed ;  was  post- 
master of  Duluth  for  about  ten  years ;  then  his  eldest  son 
became  postmaster ;  then  his  next  oldest  son,  and  this  son  finally 


When  I  first  met  Mr.  Marvin  he  was  keeping  a  shoe  store 
on  Third  street,  and  lived  on  the  corner  of  Broadway  and  Seventh 
streets,  in  a  small  building  which  has  long  since  given  way  to  a 
large  brick  store.  He  was  a  small  man,  very  conscientious  in  the 
discharge  of  his  duties,  and  had  a  somewhat  plaintive  voice.  He 
was  quick  in  his  movements  ;  public-spirited  ;  industrious  ;  honest ; 
governed  by  principle  ;  ambitious  ;  a  great  Republican  worker ;  a 
strong  party  man,  and  a  worthy  citizen.  I  met  him  at  Duluth  in  the 
winter  of  1 865,  when  he  occupied  a  small  building  as  United  States 
land  office,  overlooking  the  lake  and  bay,  and  which  building  is 
still  standing,  or  was  last  summer.  Then  three  or  four  houses  con- 
stituted Duluth.  I  met  him  again  a  few  years  later  as  postmaster, 
when  Duluth  had  grown  to  the  dignity  of  a  city  with  a  popula- 
tion of  several  thousands.  Prospectively  he  was  then  a  rich  man 
in  real  estate.  Once  again  I  met  him  ;  Jay  Cooke  had  failed ; 
real  estate  had  depreciated  ;  Duluth  was  on  its  back  ;  Mr.  Marvin's 
riches  and  the  fortunes  of  many  others  had  fled.  I  met  him  once 
more,  broken  down  in  health,  and  then  the  news  came — gone ! 
Mr.  Marvin  was  a  prominent  settler  in  the  early  days  of  St.  Paul, 
and  his  memory  is  cherished  by  all  those  who  knew  him.  And 
thus  the  links  in  the  chain  of  the  past  are  being  severed,  and  each 
year  the  line  is  growing  shorter  and  shorter. 


When  I  commenced  my  Pen  Pictures  in  the  Globe  in 
December,  1S83,  among  the  first  of  the  old  settlers  I  wrote  about, 
was  B.  Presley.     I  found  him  in  his  store  busy  with  his  fruit,  and 


yet  he  complained  of  his  throat,  as  he  had  once  before  said  to  the 
writer  that  it  was  so  bad  he  could  not  spend  his  winters  North ; 
in  other  respects  he  was  in  apparent  good  health.  I  saw  him 
again  for  the  last  time  on  Wednesday,  the  second  of  July,  1884, 
when  he  lay  cold  and  silent  and  dead  in  his  beautiful  home — the 
first  broken  link  in  my  Pen  Pictures  of  the  old  settlers  of  St. 
Paul.  The  venerable  firemen,  his  gray-headed  contemporaries, 
the  Masonic  order,  the  gathering  of  the  people,  the  paraphernalia 
of  the  fire  department,  with  the  mournful  strains  of  music,  all 
clearly  indicated  the  esteem  in  which  he  was  held  by  the  com- 
munity. But  then  this  is  only  another  link  broken  !  only  another 
warning  !  only  another  vacant  chair. 


In  October,  1850,  Miss  Fredricka  Bremer,  the  Swedish 
authoress,  visited  St.  Paul  and  also  what  is  now  known  as  Lake 
Minnetonka,  just  then  discovered  by  white  men  for  the  first  time. 
She  spent  several  days  in  this  section  of  country ;  carved  her 
name  on  a  tree  near  Manitou,  or  Spirit  Point,  in  the  above  lake ; 
roamed  over  our  hills,  and  on  her  return  home  wrote  a  very 
interesting  account  of  her  travels  in  the  then  great  unpeopled 
Northwest.  In  those  early  days  the  French  were  mostly  the 
occupants  of  the  soil.  Now  the  French  have  disappeared  and 
in  their  places  have  come  the  hardy  sons  and  daughters  of 
Sweden.  Miss  Bremer,  in  her  "  Homes  of  the  Northwest,"  thus 
alludes  to  her  visit  to  St.  Paul  : 

**  Scarcely  had  we  touched  the  shore  when  the  Governor  of  Minnesota  and  his 
pretty  young  wife  came  on  board  and  invited  me  to  take  up  my  quarters  at  their 
house.  The  town  is  one  of  the  youngest  infants  of  the  great  West,  scarcely  eighteen 
months  old,  and  yet  it  has  in  a  short  time  increased  in  population  to  2,000  persons, 
and  in  a  very  few  years  it  will  certainly  be  possessed  of  22,000,  for  its  situation  is  as 
remarkable  for  its  beauty  and  healthfulness  as  it  is  advantageous  for  trade.  As  yet, 
however,  the  town  is  in  its  infancy,  and  people  manage  with  such  dwellings  as  they 
can  get.  The  drawing-room  of  Gov.  Ramsey's  home  is  his  office,  and  Indians  and 
work-people  and  ladies  and  gentlemen  are  alike  admitted.  In  the  meantime  Mr. 
Ramsey  is  building  a  handsome  house  upon  a  hill,  a  little  out  of  the  city  (the  old 
house  stood  where  the  new  one  now  stands,)  with  beautiful  trees  around  it,  and 
commanding  a  grand  view  of  the  river.  If  I  were  to  live  on  the  Mississippi  I  would 
live  here.  It  is  a  hilly  region,  and  on  all  sides  extend  beautiful  and  varying  land- 
scapes. The  city  is  thronged  with  Indians.  The  men  for  the  most  part  go  about 
grandly  ornamented,  with  naked  hatchets,  the  shafts  of  which  serve  them  as  pipes. 
They  paint  themselves  so  utterly  without  any  taste,  that  it  is  incredible." 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  237 

MADAME    NILSSON.       , 

In  1884  the  great  Swedish  singer  visited  Minnesota  and  sang 
in  the  State  Coliseum  to  an  audience  of  5,000,  just  thirty-four  years 
after  the  first  visit  of  Miss  Bremer,  the  Swedish  historian.  Then 
St.  Paul  had  grown  from  2,000  in  1850  to  120,000  in  1884,  and 
among  those  who  heard  the  great  singer  not  less  than  1,500  were 
Swedes,  and  more  are  coming.  No  Indians  are  now  seen  upon 
our  streets  ;  the  new  residence  of  the  Governor  is  not  only  within 
the  city  limits,  but  worth  ;|S40,ooo ;  the  hopeful  trade  of  that  day 
has  grown  from  mere  nothing  to  nearly  ;^  1 00,000,000  per  year, 
and  the  city  is  still  spreading  out  and  still  growing  into  magnifi- 
cent proportions.  What  strides  ! — what  changes  in  a  few  brief 
years ! 


Born  in  Kentucky  in  1817;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850;  was 
captain  of  a  steamboat  for  many  years  ;  was  uncle  of  John  B. 
Spencer,  and  though  at  one  time  he  owned  a  large  amount  of 
real  estate,  yet  before  his  death  he  lost  it.  I  did  not  know  him 
personally,  but  learn  he  was  a  hardy  river  man,  well  versed  in 
all  the  affairs  of  the  steamboat  trade.  He  lived  in  the  lower 
part  of  the  city  and  died  there. 


Men  are  misjudged;  motives  are  misjudged;  actions  are 
misjudged;  and  I  find  this  truism  all  along  the  pathway  of  life; 
yet  the  development  of  the  inner  man  brings  to  the  surface  grand 
qualities  which  are  unseen,  and  of  course  unappreciated  by  the 
public.  The  finest  diamonds  are  hid  beneath  the  rude  rubbish 
of  nature ;  the  purest  heart  lies  encased  in  a  rough  covering ; 
the  brightest  intellect  is  trammeled  by  circumstances  ;  even  genius 
itself  is  cramped  for  want  of  money,  or  opportunity,  or  appreci- 
ation. The  development  of  the  true  man  is  not  the  outer  growth 
due  to  material  causes,  or  wealth,  or  position,  but  the  inherent 
qualities  of  the  invisible  essence  of  all  life,  of  all  manhood.  So 
in  estimating  character  let  us  be  sure  that  we  know  the  real  man 
rather  than  the  gross  garment  of  a  gross  world,  made  up  of  com- 
ponent parts  of  all  the  elements  of  imperfect  nature,  and  which 
is  only  the  material  form  of  that  which  is  better  within. 



Mr.  Olivier  was  born  at  Berthier,  province  of  Quebec,  Can- 
ada, in  1 8 19;  received  a  complete  classical  education  and  prepared 
himself  for  the  priesthood,  but  on  the  eve  of  admission  declined  ; 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850,  was  employed  by  Rice  &  Haney 
until  elected  Register  of  Deeds  in  the  fall  of  1853;  was  re- 
elected in  1855  ;  dealt  largely  in  real  estate  and  worked  up  a  set 
of  abstract  books  for  Ramsey  County,  which  have  been  used 
ever  since;  returned  to  Canada  in  the  spring  of  1858;  died  in 
his  native  place  July,  1862,  aged  only  forty-three  years. 

He  bought  the  block  adjoining  St.  Joseph  Hospital  on  the 
east,  except  two  lots  fronting  on  St.  Peter  street,  for  $800  ;  worth 
now  $50,000;  six  lots  on  Minnesota  street,  between  Fifth  and 
Sixth  streets,  for  which  he  paid  $2,500;  worth  now  590,000; 
300  feet  on  Jackson  street,  between  Eighth  and  Ninth,  for  $5,000  ; 
worth  $150,000. 

AS    I    REMEMBER    HIM. 

"  Louie  Olivier,"  as  he  was  called,  possessed  the  natural 
trait  of  his  native  country — politeness.  He  was  tall,  slender, 
social,  full  of  life  and  vivacity  ;  a  good  accountant,  and  a  man 
of  a  very  generous  nature.  He  had  great  influence  with  the 
French,  was  a  power  among  them,  while  his  affability  with 
the  Americans  won  him  many  friends.  I  remember  him  well 
and  pleasantly,  for  he  was  a  genial  companion  and  a  kind  friend. 


]\Ir.  Constans  was  born  in  France  in  1829;  received  a  com- 
mon school  education  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850;  clerked  for  a 
time  in  an  old  log  store  which  stood  upon  the  hill  near  lower  Jack- 
son street,  the  front  part  being  used  for  groceries  and  provisions 
and  the  back  part,  in  the  shape  of  a  shed,  being  used  as  a  tailor 
shop.  At  this  early  day  he  could  not  see  how  a  clerk  could  be 
paid  for  his  services  out  of  the  profits  of  legitimate  business, 
but  he  soon  learned  how  it  was  done,  and  with  about  $300  went 
into  business  for  himself  He  continued  in  trade  one  year,  when 
the  firm  became  Constans  &  Burbank,  and  in  addition  to  their 
commission  transactions  they  started  the  first  express  in  Minne- 
sota.    At  the  end  of  a  year  they  were  $160  out  of  pocket  from 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3fINN.  239 

their  express  enterprise,  Constans  paying  his  half  of  the  loss,  or 
$80.  Burbank  then  went  out  of  the  concern  and  made  there- 
after the  express  business  a  specialty. 


Mr.  Constans  continued  in  business  at  his  old  place  twenty- 
three  years,  and  at  the  old  and  new  place  he  has  been  in  busi- 
ness continuously  in  the  city,  thirty-five  years,  and  now  that  Mr. 
Presley  is  dead,  he  is  the  oldest  continuous  merchant  in  the  city 
or  State.  He  purchased  his  present  property  on  the  upper  part  of 
Jackson  street  in  1852,  built  in  1858  his  residence,  and  has  lived 
there  ever  since.  He  erected  a  brick  house  on  Seventh  street  in 
1853,  and  Burbank  built  a  wooden  house  the  same  year  on  what 
was  known  as  Baptist  Hill,  about  where  the  Manitoba  Railroad 
office  now  stands.  Trade  had  been  good  that  year  and  the  firm 
"branched  out!" 

Mr.  Constans  informs  me  that  in  the  spring  of  one  year  the 
steamer  Nominee  poked  her  nose  into  the  back  window  of  his 
warehouse  near  the  present  Bethel  Home  on  Jackson  street,  and 
some  five  hundred  feet  from  the  present  bank  of  the  river.  He 
says  this  ground  has  been  filled  up  some  twelve  feet  since  then, 
and  that  it  was  common  for  the  water  to  cover  his  warehouse 
floor,  of  course  sometimes  worse  than  at  others. 


Mr.  Constans  is  neither  a  large  nor  a  small  man,  but  of 
medium  size.  He  is  a  person  of  great  self-reliance  and  individ- 
uality of  character ;  is  a  thorough  business  man  ;  a  man  of 
method ;  unerringly  devoted  to  trade,  and  knows  how  to  carry 
on  an  extended  enterprise  as  well  as  any  other  man  in  the  city. 
He  early  purchased  a  good  deal  of  property,  and  its  rise  has 
made  him  a  rich  man — worth  several  hundred  thousand  dollars. 
He  is  quiet  in  his  every-day  walk  of  life ;  pleasant  yet  reticent, 
marching  forward  in  one  groove,  and  bending  his  energies  to 
one  end — business. 

And  thus  I  am  marching  along  down  through  the  vista  of 
years,  picking  up  by  the  way-side  the  almost  forgotten  pioneers 
of  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago,  who,  then  young,  laid  the 
foundation  for  a  great  city  here,  and  who,  now  burdened  with 


cares,  and  gray  hairs,  and  unsteady  limbs,  are  groping  down 
into  the  valley  of  old  age,  waiting  to  catch  a  glimpse  of  that 
other  shore  where  hundreds  have  preceded  them  into  that  better 
land.     And  so  I  pause,  and  think,  and — wait! 

FIRST    FIRE    IN    ST.  PAUL. 

On  the  sixteenth  of  May,  1850,  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill's  chapel,  on 
Washington  street,  took  fire  by  some  shavings  becoming  ignited, 
accidentally  or  otherwise,  and  was  burned  to  the  ground.  This 
was  the  first  fire  which  occurred  in  St.  Paul.  Where  Warner's 
block  now  stands,  corner  of  Third  and  Wabasha  streets,  was  an 
unfinished  w^arehouse,  and  in  this  Mr.  Neill  preached  until  his 
new  church  was  erected. 


The  first  Presbyterian  church,  rebuilt  on  the  corner  of  Third 
and  St.  Peter  streets,  was  finished  in  October^  1850,  and  the  first 
bell  in  Minnesota  was  hung  in  its  belfry  and  was  rung  the  Satur- 
day evening  preceding  the  Sunday  of  the  first  service  within  its 
walls.     The  second  bell  was  in  the  Market  Street  Church. 

The  first  Court  House  was  commenced  in  November,  1850, 
but  was  not  completed  until  the  year  185 1.  It  stood  thirty-three 
years  and  served  an  admirable  purpose.  It  was  torn  down  in 
the  early  part  of  1884  to  make  room  for  a  new  Court  House, 
which  w^ill  cost  not  less  than  ^600,000.  The  old  wooden  jail  was 
erected  a  few  months  later  in  the  same  year.  It  was  demolished 
in  1857.  It  was  an  insecure  and  unsafe  place  in  which  to  keep 


Gov.  Ramsey  issued  a  proclamation  designating  December 
26,  1850,  as  a  day  of  thanksgiving  and  prayer,  the  first  Thanks- 
giving ever  commemorated  in  Minnesota.  Of  course  turkeys 
were  quite  scarce,  but  whisky  was  in  abundance,  and  *'the  boys" 
whooped  it  up  until  very  late  in  the  night.  They  were  a  great 
deal  more  thankful  for  what  they  had  in  those  days  than  we  are 
now,  even  if  the  whisky  was  adulterated  with  strychnine  and 

On  the  fifth  of  September,  1850,  the  corner-stone  of  Christ 
Church  was  laid  on  Cedar  street,  and  shortly  after  the  building 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  241 

was  erected.  It  was  a  little  Gothic  structure,  and  was  reached 
by  a  two-plank  sidewalk  from  Third  street.  Here  Revs.  Wilk- 
coxson  and  Beck  and  Van  Ingen  preached,  and  then  the  new 
church  was  erected  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Exchange,  where 
it  now  stands,  and  the  little  old  church  passed  out  of  sight  for- 


A  case  of  cholera  occurred  in  this  city  for  the  first  time,  this 
year,  and  a  man  by  the  name  of  Lumley  died  with  it.  It  again 
made  its  appearance,  I  think,  in  1854,  and  several  died,  mostly 

This  year  witnessed  the  publication  of  a  directory,  and  the 
erection  of  a  brick  store.  There  then  existed  in  the  city  five 
clergymen,  fourteen  lawyers,  two  land  agents,  four  doctors, 
sixteen  mercantile  firms,  one  shoemaker,  six  hotels,  three  paint- 
ers, two  blacksmiths,  four  plasterers,  five  masons,  eighteen  car- 
penters, one  silversmith,  one  gunsmith,  five  bakers,  three  wheel- 
wrights, one  harness-maker,  one  tinner,  two  newspapers.  The 
first  brick  store  was  built  by  John  Farrington,  corner  of  Third 
and  Exchange  streets. 


Mr.  Wheelock  was  born  in  Nova  Scotia  in  1831  ;  was  edu- 
cated at  an  academy  in  New  Brunswick ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1850;  was  in  the  sutler's  store  at  Fort  Snelling  for  about  two  years  ; 
was  editor  of  the  Real  Estate  and  Financial  Advertiser,  owned 
by  Charles  H.  Parker,  from  1854  until  1858;  was  associate  edi- 
tor of  the  old  Pioneer  in  1859;  made  a  trip  with  Gov.  Ramsey  in 
1863  to  consummate  a  treaty  with  the  Red  Lake  Indians;  was 
Commissioner  of  Statistics  in  i860;  in  1 861  was  connected  with 
William  R.  Marshall  in  renting  the  Times  office,  type,  material, 
good-will,  etc.,  then  edited  by  T.  M.  Newson,  and  out  of  this 
transaction  grew  the  establishment  of  the  Press,  of  which  Mr. 
Wheelock  became  editor ;  was  appointed  postmaster  at  St.  Paul 
in  1870.  He  married  Miss  Kate  French,  of  New  Hampshire,  in 
1 86 1.  During  the  war  a  paper  called  the  Daily  Union,  estab- 
lished by  Fred.  DriscoU,  was  merged  into  the  Press,  and  in  1875 
the  old  Pioneer  and  soon  after  the  Minneapolis  Tribune  were 


absorbed  by  the  Press,  and  this  joint  paper  was  presided  over  by 
Mr.  Wheelock,  as  editor-in-chief;  subsequently  the  Tribune  was 
re-estabhshed  upon  an  Associated  Press  franchise  purchased 
from  the  Pioneer  Press.  The  outcome  is  the  present  Pioneer 
Press,  of  which  Mr.  Wheelock  is  still  editor;  so  that  he  has  been 
continuously  in  the  editorial  harness  up  to  the  time  of  his  leav- 
ing for  Europe  in  1883,  about  twenty-two  years,  although  pre- 
vious to  entering  upon  his  daily  duties  he  had  edited  a  weekly 
paper  four  years,  thus  making  in  all  about  twenty-six  years  of 
active  editorial  life. 


Mr.  Wheelock  is  a  tall,  spare  gentleman  with  side-whiskers 
sprinkled  with  gray,  and  usually  carries  a  cane.  Over  a  quarter 
of  a  century  ago  I  remember  him  as  an  invalid,  very  slender, 
with  large  eyes,  a  good  brow,  and  supposing  hi-s  lungs  to  be 
affected,  daily  used  what  was  then  a  novel  expedient,  a  lung 
inhalent  for  the  benefit  of  his  health.  He  was  social  in  his  nature, 
somewhat  hesitating  in  his  speech,  decided  in  his  opinions, 
i  iipulsive,  easily  excited  to  anger,  and  exhibited  what  one  might 
term  a  reserved  power,  it  only  needing  a  good  physical  organiza- 
tion to  bring  it  out.  His  trips  on  the  plains  greatly  aided  to 
restore  his  health,  so  that  when  he  became  Commissioner  of  Sta- 
tistics he  piled  up  the  figures  in  an  intelligent  and  accurate 
manner.  It  is  said  of  him  that  in  boyhood  he  was  considered 
different  from  other  children,  and  that  peculiar,  distinct  charac- 
teristic of  early  days  he  has  carried  into  manhood,  and  still  he  is 
a  very  able  writer,  a  deep  thinker,  with  an  analytic  and  philo- 
sophical mind.  In  early  years  he  wrote  with  a  great  deal  more 
ornamentation  than  now,  that  is,  he  used  many  constructive 
words  to  convey  his  meaning,  while  at  present  he  drives  right 
forward  to  the  main  point  at  issue.  He  is  self-reliant,  and  pos- 
sesses a  large  degree  of  individuality  ;  is  reserved  in  his  manners, 
yet  to  those  who  know  him  well  he  is  social,  amiable,  generous,, 
and  a  pleasant  companion.  He  has  strong  likes  and  dislikes  ; 
has  devoted  his  time  almost  exclusively  to  his  profession,  and  his 
ambition  has  been  to  build  up  a  powerful  journal,  and  in  this  par- 
ticular he  has  shown  both  ability  and  tenacity.  The  writer  has 
measured  pens  with  Mr.  Wheelock  on  some  public  questions  and 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  243 

differed  with  him  on  others,  yet  that  will  not  prevent  him  from 
rendering  honor  to  whom  honor  is  due,  or  bias  him  in  his  honest 
estimation  of  the  man.  He  left  for  Europe  before  the  first  of  July, 
1883,  and  after  spending  over  a  year  there  returned  to  St.  Paul, 
July  9,  1884,  when  he  resumed  his  active  duties  as  the  chief 
editor  of  the  Pioneer  Press. 


Born  in  Maine  in  1822;  educated  at  an  academy;  resided 
for  a  short  time  in  Illinois  and  Indiana;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1850;  opened  a  daguerrean  gallery  in  a  building  on  the  corner 
of  Third  and  Cedar  streets ;  remained  there  seventeen  years ; 
then  removed  to  the  Lambert  building,  on  the  opposite  corner, 
up-stairs,  where  he  continued  until  1871,  having  been  in  the  busi- 
ness altogether  twenty-one  years.  The  first  daguerrean  artist 
was  Dr.  W.  A.  Jarvis  ;  the  second  Joel  E.  Whitney. 

Mr.  Whitney  produced  the  first  photographic  likeness  in  the 
city,  and  was  therefore  the  first  photographer.  He  took  many 
views  from  which  engravings  have  been  made,  among  them  the 
first  Catholic  Chapel,  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony,  and  other  places. 
His  pictures  had  much  to  do  in  attracting  attention  to  the   city. 


The  first  lithograph  map  of  the  city  was  issued  by  S.  P.  Fol- 
som  &  Co.  and  it  is  a  very  fine  work  of  art.  The  first  lithograph 
view  of  the  city  was  by  Whitney  &  Le  Due  and  gave  the  best 
view  of  St.  Paul  at  that  time.  The  first  plat  was  issued  by  Whit- 
ney &  Nichols.  Mr.  W.  was  once  in  the  banking  business,  the 
firm  being  Caldwell,  Whitney  &  Co.,  and  the  building  now 
stands  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Robert  streets,  at  present  occu- 
pied as  a  drug  store. 

Mr.  Whitney  bought  eighty-five  feet  on  the  corner  of  Cedar 
and  Third  streets  in  1850,  for  which  he  paid  $i,ioo;  worth  now 
^60,000;  owned  half  of  the  claim  in  1861  upon  which  Merriam 
Park  now  stands,  for  which  he  paid  ;^2,ooo ;  worth  now  ^200,- 
000;  bought  forty  acres  this  side  of  the  Reform  School  for  $250  ; 
worth  now  ^40,000 ;  owned  largely  in  Whitney  &  Smith's  Addi- 
tion, cost  ;S^io,ooo;  worth  ;^ 5 00,000  ;  purchased  four  acres  in 
Butman's  Addition  for  ;S650;  worth  ^100,000;  owned  an  acre 


and  a  third  on  Canada  street,  paid  $14^,  sold  for  ^400;  worth 
now  ;^30,000;  had  property  at  Cottage  Grove,  Anoka,  and  else- 
where ;  invested  largely  in  paper  towns  and  lost  all  the  money 
he  had  made  in  the  city.  He  left  for  the  South  in  1871  and 
returned  to  St.  Paul  in  1881,  and  entered  the  grocery  business 
on  Jackson  street,  but  gave  it  up  in  consequence  of  ill-health, 
and  since  then  he  has  been  doing  comparatively  nothing. 


MR.  WHITXEV    AS    A    MAN. 

Mr.  Whitney  was  always  estimated  an  honest  man.  He  was 
industrious  and  honorable,  and  years  can  detract  nothing  from 
these  qualities.  He  is  of  medium  size  ;  quite  deaf,  but  an  ami- 
able and  pleasant  gentleman,  and  has  seen  St.  Paul  grow  from 
a  mere  handful  of  men  and  women  to  a  city  of  120,000  inhabit- 


Father  of  Joel  E.  Whitney,  came  here  in  an  early  day  and 
made  many  real  estate  investments,  one-half  of  which,  had  he 
held,  would  have  made  him  worth  millions.  He  gave  to  the 
German  Society  the  lot  upon  which  the  present  German  Metho- 
dist Church  stands,  and  he  was  among  the  first  temperance  men 
in  the  city — a  great  worker  in  the  cause  he  espoused  so  enthu- 


When  I  ask  some  of  the  old  settlers  what  property  they 
once  owned  and  what  they  now  own,  they  usually  turn  around 
to  see  if  the  assessor  is  near  by,  and  some  won't  give  the  figures 
under  any  circumstances  whatever,  and  this  reminds  me  of  a 
little  story:  In  early  days  Stephen  Denoyer  was  the  possessor 
of  some  400  acres  between  St.  Paul  and  St.  Anthony,  and  every 
time  a  boat  arrived  at  our  levee  he  walked  up  and  down  on  his 
veranda  and  advanced  his  real  estate  so  many  dollars  per  acre. 
One  day  a  larger  number  of  boats  arrived  than  usual,  and 
Denoyer,  very  much  elated,  put  his  property  up  to  quite  a 
respectable  figure,  when,  among  the  gentlemen  listening  to  him, 
one  addressed  him  as  follows : 

"  Mr.  Denoyer,  you  have  about  400  acres  here,  have  you 
not  ?  " 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MIIVN.  245 


Oh,  yes,"  said  Denoyer,  "  I  has  400  acres." 
Well,    Mr.  Denoyer,  what  is  your   property  worth    per 
acre  ?  " 

"  O,  veil,  I'se  zinks  one  hundred  toUars  per  acre." 

"Then  you  think  that  one  hundred  dollars  per  acre  is  cheap 
for  your  property  ?  " 

"Veils,  I  zinks  he  be  worth  more  tan  one  hundred  and 
twenty-five  tollars  per  acre." 

"  You  have  400  acres  here  ?  " 

"  Yah  !  You'se  buy  'em  ?  " 

"  Oh,  no,"  said  the  man,  and  soon  drove  off. 

"Do  you  know  who  that  man  was?"  said  a  gentleman  to 

"  Vy's,  no.     Vot  you  ask  for  ?  " 

"  Well,  that  was  the  Assessor  of  Ramsey  County,"  he 
replied,  when  Denoyer  was  heard  to  exclaim : 

"  Oh,  my  Gods,"  and  calling  for  his  fast  horse  he  was  soon 
on  the  road  trying  to  overtake  the  Assessor  and  to  convince  him 
that  he  had  accidentally  make  a  mistake  in  the  valuation  of  his 
own  property.  Of  course  Denoyer  caught  his  man  and  then 
"  smiled,"  and  the  Assessor  "  smiled,"  and  they  kept  on  "  smil- 
ing," (for  everybody  "  smiled  "  in  those  days,)  and  finally  a  com- 
promise was  effected  whereby  Denoyer's  property  was  assessed  at 
$2^  per  acre  instead  of  ;^  125.    Moral — look  out  for  the  Assessor. 


Among  the  many  earnest  Democrats  I  met  on  my  first 
arrival  in  St.  Paul  in  the  year  1853, — the  Territory  was  then  Dem- 
ocratic— none  were  more  enthusiastic,  or  more  warmly  devoted 
to  their  party,  than  William  Noot  and  "  Little  Jack  Morgan,"  the 
latter  well  known  by  the  old  settlers  as  the  Ohio  Democratic  pol- 
itician. Noot  and  Jack  were  inseparable.  They  agreed  on  party 
issues ;  never  faltered  in  their  devotion  to  the  memory  of  Andrew 
Jackson,  and  socially  were  hale  fellows  well  met.  Poor  Jack ! 
How  often  he  tried  to  convince  me  that  I  was  wrong  in  my  devo- 
tion to  the  cause  of  the  slave,  and  how  often  he  regretted  that 
one  he  so  esteemed  should  be  misled  by  fanatical  ideas.  Unfor- 
tunately he  did  not  live  to  see  the  results  of  the  great  rebellion, 


but  died  in  early  life  fully  impressed  with  the  belief  that  the  Dem- 
ocratic party  was  the  only  pure  and  great  and  grand  party  which 
could  save  this  country  from  destruction.  Jack  came  to  St.  Paul 
sometime  in  1852  or  1853,  and  of  whom  I  shall  have  more  to  say. 
Mr.  Noot  I  lost  sight  of  for  years  and  supposed  he  was  dead, 
when  a  mere  accident  found  him  alive  and  well,  living  at  a  serene 
old  age  in  the  town  of  Big  Lake,  Sherburne  County,  Minnesota. 


He  was  born  in  Wesel,  on  the  Rhine,  Prussia,  in  the  year 
181 1  ;  removed  to  Missouri  in  i8z|4;  engaged  in  farming;  mar- 
ried Nancy  Merchant  in  1845;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1847; 
remained  here  a  short  time  when  he  made  a  claim  one  mile  above 
the  mouth  of  Rum  river,  including  the  big  island,  but  was 
driven  off  when  the  Winnebagoes  were  removed  to  Blue  Earth 
County,  they  having  a  high  old  spree  over  his  scoota-wa-boo, 
which  they  found,  and  which  event  Mr.  Noot  thus  describes : 


He  had  two  barrels  of  whisky  at  this  time  which  he  had 
sold  to  the  Indian  traders  and  had  it  hid  according  to  instruc- 
tions in  a  corn  crib,  but  the  Indians  found  it  out  and  then  there 
was  a  lively  tussel.  They  took  every  pot  and  pan  he  had,  and 
even  emptied  his  powder  keg  and  filled  that  with  whisky,  and 
removed  these  vessels  to  where  they  camped  that  night  which 
was  about  three-quarters  of  a  mile  from  Noot's  house.  Himself 
and  wife  and  little  son  then  went  to  Mr.  Folsom's,  at  the  mouth 
of  Rum  river,  but  there  was  no  sleep.  The  Indians  were  very 
liberal  with  their  whisky,  and  fortunately  they  were  very  good- 
natured,  so  Noot  and  his  family  escaped  with  their  lives. 

Mr.  Noot  then  bought  a  claim  near  St.  Paul  in  1850,  sold 
it,  and  took  another  claim  on  the  Fort  Snelling  reservation,  in 
Reserve  township.  He  served  two  terms  in  the  Territorial  House 
of  Representatives  in  1853-4,  and  translated  the  first  message  of 
Governor  Ramsey  into  German  ;  voted  for  Abe  Lincoln,  but 
after  the  death  of  that  good  man  he  went  back  to  his  old  love, 
the  Democratic  party.  He  enlisted  in  the  Second  Minnesota  Reg- 
iment and  served  his  adopted  country,  and  though  not  rich  he 
has  been  blessed  with  elc\'en  children,  and  resides  where  he  has 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  247 

made  it  his  home  for  the  past  twenty  years.  One  son  is  dead, 
three  others  and  one  daughter  are  married,  and  this  veritable 
Noot,  to  our  memory  of  thirty-two  years  ago,  still  lives  at  the 
advanced  age  of  seventy-four,  dreaming  over  again  the  pleasant 
times  he  had  with  little  Jack  Morgan  and  the  good  old  Demo- 
cratic party  of  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago,  having  been  a 
resident  of  Minnesota  for  about  thirty-eight  years. 


Mr.  Farrington  was  born  in  Ireland  in  1827;  came  to  this 
country  when  about  seven  years  of  age;  was  trained  in  mercan- 
tile pursuits  in  New  Orleans  in  1840,  until  he  thought  the  city 
was  too  big  for  him,  when  he  removed  to  Chicago  in  1849,  ^^"^^ 
engaged  in  business  with  his  brother  George,  and  finding  Chicago 
too  large  removed  to  St.  Paul  in  1850,  where  he  has  remained 
ever  since,  and  with  which  city  he  is  entirely  satisfied. 


Mr.  Farrington  built  the  first  brick  store  in  the  city,  which 
formerly  stood  on  West  Third  street,  near  Exchange,  the  ground 
floor  of  which  was  occupied  by  himself  and  brother,  and  the  sec- 
ond story  by  Captain  Wilkin,  then  Secretary  of  the  Territory. 
The  upper  part  of  this  building  was  subsequently,  in  1854,  occu- 
pied by  the  Times  printing  office,  and  by  Charles  Parker,  banker, 
on  the  lower  floor.     Later  along  it  was  consumed  by  fire. 

In  1853  there  existed  a  firm  by  the  name  of  Rice,  Culver  & 
Lowry,  which  dealt  largely  in  the  Indian  supply  business  of  the 
Northwest  and  the  traffic  in  furs.  When  Mr.  Rice  was  elected 
to  Congress  Mr.  Farrington  took  his  place,  and  the  firm  became 
Culver,  P'arrington  &  Co.,  and  continued  to  exist  up  to  1865,  or 
twelve  years. 

BENEFIT    TO    ST.    PAUL. 

The  trade  of  this  firm  was  of  great  benefit  to  St.  Paul  as 
furs  were  brought  to  this  city  from  all  sections  of  the  Northwest, 
and  in  exchange  for  these  furs  large  amounts  of  provisions  were 
sent  out  on  to  the  frontier.  This  trade  continued  until  Congress 
passed  a  law  virtually  placing  a  tariff  on  furs,  and  this  sent  them 
into  Canada  and  into  England,  when  the  fur  trade  was  aban- 
doned, and  the  firm  of  Culver  &  Farrington  entered  largely  into 


the  real   estate  business,  and  continued  until  the  death  of  the 
senior  partner,  Mr.  Culver,  which  occurred  in  1878. 


Mr.  Farrington  has  a  large  amount  of  real  estate  in  this 
city,  most  of  which  has  become  valuable.  He  also  has  a  large 
number  of  acres  in  Blue  Earth  County. 

In  1849  he  purchased  one-quarter  interest  in  Whitney  & 
Smith's  addition  to  St.  Paul,  which  ran  from  Jackson  street  to 
Broadway,  for  $500.  The  present  property  is  worth  $2,000,000 ! 
Ministers,  and  shrewd  men,  and  men  of  brains,  and  men  without 
brains,  and  men  of  culture,  and  men  of  no  culture,  and  land  men, 
and  water  men,  have  all  got  "left"  in  their  estimates  of  the 
growth  of  St.  Paul,  and  there  is  a  unanimous  verdict  that  if — 
and  if — and  if — what  might  have  been  ! — if  we  had  only  held  on 
to  that  real  estate !  but  we  didn't  do  it,  and  that  settles  the 


As  one  of  the  early  settlers  Mr.  Farrington  was  always 
foremost  in  aiding  any  enterprise  which  would  advance  the  inter- 
ests of  the  city,  hence  I  find  him  subscribing  to  steamboat  and 
railroad  stock,  investing  in  the  first  telegraph,  and  aiding  in 
building  hotels,  a  third  interest  of  which  he  now  owns  in  the 

He  never  held  an  elective  office  and  was  never  a  candidate 
for  one.  He  was  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Public  Works  for 
three  years,  and  has  been  President  of  that  body  four  years, 
making  seven  years  in  all.  Was  appointed  U.  S.  Deputy  Col- 
lector at  the  Custom  House,  St.  Paul,  in  1885,  resigning  as  a 
member  of  the  Board  of  Public  Works. 


Mr.  Farrington  is  a  slenderly-built  gentleman,  very  pleasant 
in  his  ways,  an  excellent  business  man,  and  undemonstrative  in 
his  nature.  He  is  quite  reticent  when  it  is  for  his  interest  to  be 
so,  and  quite  social  with  his  friends.  He  walks  usually  with  his 
hands  clasped  in  front  of  him,  head  inclined  to  the  sidewalk  as 
though  in  deep  study,  and  moves  straiglit  forward  about  his  busi- 
ness.    The  black  hair  of  thirty  years  ago  has  turned  to  gray, 

OF  ST.  PA  UL:  MINN.  2 19 

giving  him  a  more  venerable  appearance  than  in  the  days  of 
"  Auld  Lang  Syne,"  and  with  a  gentle  stoop  in  his  shoulders  we 
see  the  once  president  of  our  Board  of  Public  Works  as  he 
appears  upon  our  streets,  a  connecting  and  valuable  link  which 
cements  the  past  with  the  present. 


Mr.  Good  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1827;  received  a 
common  school  education;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850;  when  he 
arrived  he  saw  a  large  crowd  of  Indians  on  the  levee,  even 
greater  in  numbers  than  the  whites,  which  startled  him ;  com- 
menced his  career  here  in  the  lumbering  business ;  worked  in 
THE  FIRST  SAW  MILL  IN  ST.  PAUL,  and  has  studiously  followed  his 
business  in  the  lumber  trade  for  upwards  of  thirty-three  years. 
He  has  accumulated  a  fine  property  consisting  of  houses  and 
lots,  and  has  a  family  of  nine  children,  six  of  whom,  however, 
are  only  living.  He  is  a  very  quiet,  industrious  man  ;  acquired 
his  property  by  saving,  and  is  a  substantial  citizen,  really  a  Good 

R.    C.    KNOX. 

Mr.  Knox  was  born  about  1827  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1853 ; 
was  a  member  of  the  Council  in  1851  ;  Orderly  Sergeant  of  the 
City  Guards  in  1853  ;  Alderman  in  1843-7  5  Street  Commissioner 
in  i860;  was  a  carpenter  and  joiner  by  trade,  and  at  one  time 
took  large  contracts  at  Duluth  and  elswhere  for  the  construction 
of  docks  and  warehouses.  He  was  what  the  boys  would  call 
"  a  stayer,"  being  a  man  of  great  "  push  "  of  character,  and  was 
the  originator  of  the  first  hook-and-ladder  company  in  this  city. 
He  was  a  very  tall  man,  being  upward  of  six  feet,  and  when  he 
walked  his  strides  were  like  "  Jack  the  giant  killer."  In  his  day, 
which  was  thirty-five  years  ago,  he  was  a  great  fireman,  and  the 
old  men  now — young  men  then — who  used  to  follow  his  lead, 
assert  that  he  would  tire  out  a  dozen  ordinary  men  at  a  fire.  He 
was  a  pleasant  gentleman,  and  all  the  old  settlers  will  remember 
him,  for  he  towered  in  majesty  above  all,  and  was  generally 
esteemed  by  all. 


I  have  hitherto   only  incidentally  alluded  to  Mr.  Henniss 
simply  because  I  have  had  no  means  of  knowing  or  ascertaining 


his  history.  He  was  of  Irish  descent  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
either  1849  or  1850,  and  was  born  about  1834,  being  at  the  first 
time  I  saw  him,  not  far  from  twenty-five  years  of  age.  He  was 
a  slender,  genteel  man  of  good  address,  and  possessed  compos- 
ing and  oratorical  abilities,  which,  had  he  lived  would  have  won 
for  him  a  name,  but  his  social  qualities  ran  away  with  his  judg- 
ment and  at  an  early  age  he  passed  to  the  grave.  I  remember 
some  of  his  after-dinner  speeches  and  they  were  fervent,  spicy, 
original,  and  withal  quite  effective.  He  wrote  in  an  easy,  flow- 
ing style,  and  was  really  a  man  of  much  promise,  but  too  much 
sociability  ended  in  his  untimely  death. 

L.    B.    WAIT. 

Mr.  Wait  was  a  short,  thick-set  man,  extremely  moderate  in 
his  movements  and  very  peculiar  in  his  manners.  He  at  one 
time  was  Clerk  of  the  Council,  and  later  was  Collector  of  the 
Port  of  St.  Paul.  He  used  to  run  a  lime  and  seed  store  on 
lower  Third  street,  this  side  of  Jackson,  and  then  he  went  into 
the  printing  business  on  Fourth  street,  in  the  old  stone  building 
occupied  by  Lamb  &  Sons,  and  failing  went  to  California  where 
he  now  is.  He  was  born  about  1834  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1850.  He  was  a  quiet  person,  very  deliberate  in  his  movements 
and  in  his  talk ;  never  in  a  hurry ;  40,000  Indians  on  the  war- 
path could  not  make  him  run,  and  he  was  as  odd  in  his  ways  as 
his  appearance  indicated  originality ;  yet  he  was  a  moral,  reput- 
able citizen  against  whom  I  can  say  nothing,  except  that  he  was 
awfully  slow,  and  that  he  had  a  right  to  be  if  he  so  desired. 


Mr.  Haycock  was  born  in  St.  Paul  in  1850  and  received 
his  education  at  our  common  schools  and  then  succeeded  his 
father  in  the  wood  business.  Prior  to  this,  in  1870  up  to  1873, 
he  was  engaged  in  the  grocery  trade.  He  married  Miss  Haley 
in  1873,  and  though  still  in  the  vigor  of  manhood  he  may  well 
count  himself  as  an  old  settler  and  one  whose  experience  in  this 
country  ought  to  be  of  some  service  to  him  before  he  reaches 
"  the  sere  and  the  yellow  leaf." 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  251 


One  has  a  very  pleasant  memory  about  poor  David  Oakes, 
who  fell  in  the  battle  at  Pittsburg  Landing  during  the  late  war 
with  the  South.  He  was  a  manly  fellow,  and  though  tinged  with 
Indian  blood,  (of  which  he  need  not  be  ashamed,)  yet  he  was 
always  the  gentleman.  I  remember  him  as  a  large,  muscular, 
well-formed  man  ;  straight,  active,  pleasant ;  and  to-day  I  can 
find  nothing  against  him  to  cast  a  shadow  over  his  excellent 
career.  He  was  a  trusted  clerk  of  his  father  and  was  often  sent 
on  important  missions  among  the  Indians,  and  he  never  betrayed 
a  trust  or  faltered  in  his  duty.  Brave  and  self-possessed,  he  with 
Theodore  Borup  cowered  the  Indians  when  they  made  an  on- 
slaught on  the  Sioux  in  the  old  Minnesota  Outfit  and  thereby 
saved  much  bloodshed.  It  was  no  doubt  this  same  courageous 
element  of  his  character  which  caused  him  to  rush  into  the  thick- 
est of  the  fight  at  Pittsburg  Landing,  where  he  met  his  death. 
Poor,  gallant  Dave  Oakes  !  gone  down  in  life  young,  yet  leaving 
a  memory  pleasant  to  his  widow  and  pleasant  to  his  friends. 

He  was  born  at  La  Pointe,  Wisconsin,  in  1828;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1850;  married  Miss  Curran,  who  survives  him  ;  con- 
tinued mostly  in  the  employ  of  his  father,  until  he  enlisted  in  the 
army,  and  was  killed  in  1862,  aged  about  thirty-five  years. 

*'  His  life  was  gentle  and  the  elements 
So  mixed  in  him  that  natm^e  might  stand  up 
And  say  to  all  the  world,  this  is  a  man." 


Mr.  Knauft  was  born  in  Prussia  in  the  year  1826  and  edu- 
cated at  the  common  schools  of  that  country ;  came  to  America 
in  1845  ^^d  worked  at  the  carpenter  business  in  Quincy,  Illinois, 
one  year,  and  in  St.  Louis  three  years  ;  arrived  at  St.  Paul  in 
1850  and  continued  his  trade  on  Seventh  street  up  to  i860,  when 
he  abandoned  the  business  and  became  a  school-boy  at  the  age  of 
thirty-six  years,  and  with  his  books  under  his  arm  trudged  along 
to  the  Commercial  College,  then  kept  by  O.  F.  Carver  on  Third 
street,  anxious  to  obtain  a  business  education,  which  he  success- 
fully accomplished.  In  1 85 1  he  commenced  the  grocery  trade 
in  a  little  store  on  the  corner  of  Seventh  and  Olive  streets,  (having 
in  the  year  1850  erected  the  building,)  and  continued  in  the  trade 


up  to  1870,  when  he  turned  the  stock  over  to  his  son  and  his  son- 
in-law  and  thought  he  would  take  the  world  easy,  but  his  active, 
industrious  life  would  not  permit  him  to  do  so,  and  he  again  en- 
tered business  in  1 870  with  a  partner  named  Carl  Ahrendt,  but  his 
partner  had  too  much  theatrical  ability  about  him  to  suit  Knauft, 
who  dealt  in  matters  of  fact,  and  so,  in  the  year  1874,  he  bought 
him  out  and  has  ever  since  run  the  business  (hardware)  alone, 
until  1884,  when  he  gave  his  young  son,  Benjamin,  a  half-inter- 
est in  the  store,  and  the  firm  now  is  really  Knauft  &  Son. 


He  was  induced  to  come  to  St.  Paul  because  it  was  the 
heighth  of  his  ambition  to  own  real  estate,  and  here  he  could 
get  it  with  such  means  as  he  had  at  hand,  while  in  St.  Louis  he 
could  not,  so  he  came  to  this  city.  In  his  then  youthful  estima- 
tion to  own  property  was  to  be  a  king.  At  the  time  he  built  on 
the  corner  of  Seventh  and  Olive  streets  in  1850,  there  were  only 
a  few  houses  in  that  whole  section  of  the  city,  and  on  the  oppo- 
site corner  was  a  blacksmith's  shop  and  an  old  inn  where  the 
Indians  used  to  procure  whisky.  He  resided  on  Seventh  street 
thirty-four  years,  and  now  massive  blocks  of  brick  are  taking 
the  places  of  shanties  and  vacant  lots. 


In  1850  Mr.  Knauft  purchased  a  lot  on  the  corner  of  Sev- 
enth and  Rosabel  streets,  (150  feet  on  Seventh  and  fifty  feet  on 
Rosabel,)  for  which  he  paid  ;$400 ;  worth  now  $^0,000 ;  a  lot  on  • 
the  corner  of  Pine  and  Seventh,  paid  $400  ;  worth  ;$20,ooo ;  three 
lots  on  Seventh,  adjoining  his  corner  lot,  cost  him  ^1,500;  worth 
$60,000;  100  feet  on  Tenth  street;  cost  $1,600;  worth  $8,000. 
He  has  other  property  in  various  parts  of  the  city,  but  the  above 
is  sufficient  to  demonstrate  his  early  idea  that  the  man  who  owns 
real  estate  is  a  king.  Knauft's  a  king  !  "  Long  live  the  King  !  " 
He  has  four  outside  buildings  beside  his  recent  purchase  of 
Adam  Gotzian's  residence  on  Dayton's  bluff,  for  which  he  paid 
$15,000,  and  where  he  now  resides.  His  bnck  block  on  Se\^enth 
street  is  200  feet  long  by  lOO  deep,  has  some  twelve  stores  and 
thirty  rooms  in  it,  all  bringing  him  in  a  handsome  rental.  The 
cost  of  this  block  was  about  $70,000. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  253 

Mr.  Knauft  was  a  member  of  the  Territorial  Legislature  in 
1856;  also  a  member  of  the  Common  Council  for  three  years. 
Since  then  he  has  no  taste  for  politics  and  has  no  desire  to  occupy- 
any  political  position.  He  has  been  married  three  times  and 
nine  children  have  graced  the  household,  six  of  whom  are  now 
living.     He  is  worth,  at  least,  ^250,000. 


Thirty-one  years  ago  I  remember  Mr.  Knauft  as  a  small, 
thin,  spare,  apparently  sickly  man,  with  a  long  face,  weighing 
not  more  than  ninety  pounds.  He  was  then  a  quiet,  modest, 
industrious,  pleasant  gentleman.  Now  I  find  him  with  ruddy 
cheeks,  a  full,  round  face,  a  rotund  form,  and  carrying  down  the 
scales  at  225  pounds.  He  is  still  the  same  careful,  prudent,  good- 
natured,  plodding  business  man  of  over  a  quarter  of  a  century 
ago,  yet  I  notice  a  less  elastic  step  than  formerly,  a  more  mod- 
erate movement  than  in  the  years  gone,  a  few  gray  hairs  lying 
around  loose,  still  he  has  reached  the  throne  of  his  ambition, 
and  sits  there — *'  every  inch  a  king  !  " — a  king  because  financially 
above  want,  and  every  inch  a  man  because  possessing  the  ele- 
ments that  make  one. 


"  Joe  Farr,"  a  fine  specimen  of  a  colored  gentleman,  with  his 
loping  gait  on  the  sidewalk  and  his  bright  eyes,  is  well  known 
to  all  the  old  settlers,  for  as  a  man  and  a  citizen  he  has  been  very 
generally  esteemed  for  many  years.  It  is  true  that  in  a  fit  of 
passion  to  which  he  was  subject,  he  would  occasionally  take 
somebody  by  the  nose  and  abruptly  slap  him  in  the  face,  and 
though  not  a  banker  yet  he  would  shave  any  one  out  of  fifteen 
cents  quicker  and  better  than  the  best  confidence  man  I  ever  saw, 
and  still  Joe  was  popular.  His  customers  seemed  to  like  it  and 
Joe  laughed  and  grew  fat.  He  was  born  in  Washington  city 
in  1832,  where  he  lived  twelve  years;  then  removed  to  Galena 
and  resided  there  six  years,  running  on  steamboats  as  the  boy 
who  made  up  the  berths;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850  having  pre- 
viously learned  the  trade  of  a  barber  ;  was  at  one  time  located  in 
the  old  American  House ;  then  in  a  building  opposite  the  First 
Presbyterian   Church,  then   in    Rogers'  block,  and  then  in   that 

2  54  PEN  PICT  URE  S 

owned  by  the  late  Dr.  Stewart,  where  he  continued  for  some 
twelve  years,  making  in  all  about  twenty-eight  years  of  an  active 
life  of  a  barber,  and  he  was  an  excellently  good  one.  He  then 
secured  a  position  in  the  seed  store  of  T.  M.  Metcalf,  where  he 
now  is.  Mr.  Farr  has  a  very  intelligent  family,  two  of  his 
daughters  having  been  teachers  in  our  public  schools. 


Mr.  Parker  is  an  Englishman  with  a  round,  bright  face  and 
a  well  developed  head,  and  has  been  in  St.  Paul  for  thirty-five 
years.  He  is  a  quiet  man,  but  none  the  less  a  good  and  worthy 
citizen.  He  was  born  in  the  south  of  England  in  1815.  After 
receiving  a  very  indifferent  education  he  learned  the  trade  of  a 
carpenter  and  worked  in  London  for  sixteen  years  ;  emigrated  to 
America  in  1848;  was  employed  in  Brooklyn  and  New  York  ; 
resided  in  Chicago  up  to  1850,  when  he  came  to  St.  Paul; 
worked  on  the  old  Presbyterian  Church  which  used  to  stand  on 
Third  street;  also  at  P't.  Ripley.  In  1852  he  went  to  reside  with 
the  Indians  at  Gull  and  Leech  lakes,  where  he  was  employed  as 
a  carpenter  and  where  he  remained  for  years  ;  returned  to  St. 
Paul  and  has  been  employed  at  his  trade  more  or  less  ever  since. 


In  1852  he  bought  two  lots  on  Fort  street,  now  West  Sev- 
enth, near  the  residence  of  Robert  Smith,  Esq.,  for  ;$225  apiece; 
worth  now  in  the  aggregate  $24,000 ;  a  lot  in  Leech's  addition 
for  $70,  worth  now  $12,000.  What  is  remarkable  is  the  fact 
that  this  property  he  still  owns. 

When  Mr.  Parker  first  came  to  St.  Paul  he  and  his  brother 
kept  a  bachelor's  hall  in  a  house  near  the  present  residence  of 
Henry  Horn,  Esq.,  and  while  absent  on  business  the  building 
took  fire  and  that  and  everything  in  it  was  consumed,  not  leaving 
him  a  suit  of  clothes ;  loss  about  $900. 


Coming  down  into  the  city  after  the  fire,  Mr.  Parker  met 
Hon.  H.  M.  Rice,  who  had  a  store  of  his  own,  and  who  greeted 
him  with — "  Well,  Parker,  you  have  been  burned  out— come  into 
my  store  and  get  anything  you  want."     And  he  gave  him  a  nice 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3fINN.  255 

coat  and  vest.  Gov.  William  R.  Marshall  gave  him  some  shirts, 
while  James  M.  Goodhue  turned  all  the  money  out  of  his  drawer 
and  regretted  it  was  not  full.  Mr.  Fullerton  put  the  best  coat  in 
his  store  on  his  back  and  told  him  to  walk  off.  Indeed,  every- 
body extended  a  helping  hand  and  showed  a  very  kindly  feeling. 
Mr.  Parker  was  engaged  to  a  girl  in  the  old  country,  who,  after  the 
death  of  her  father,  came  to  America  in  1853,  Mr.  Parker  having 
been  here  some  time  previously,  and  was  married  to  her  old 
lover,  and  has  proved  a  faithful  and  devoted  wife.  He  is  a  man 
of  moderate  size,  uncommonly  quiet  in  his  ways,  a  hard  work- 
ing, industrious  gentleman  and  a  man  of  excellent  character. 


A  straight,  dignified  gentleman,  all  of  the  olden  times,  was 
Mr.  Thompson,  who,  in  his  daily  rounds  was  always  the  same. 
His  measured  step  and  soldierly  bearing,  with  a  courtly  manner, 
gave  him  a  marked  individuality  and  made  him  an  impressive 
figure  in  the  past.  He  was  born  in  Pennsylvania,  of  Quaker 
parentage,  in  1812  ;  received  a  good  education  and  graduated  at 
Wilmington  College,  Delaware  ;  inherited  a  large  fortune;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1850,  and  was  at  one  time  partner  of  H.  M.  Rice ;  was 
Indian  agent  for  several  years  ;  made  a  treaty  with  the  Sissetons 
and  established  the  first  farming  among  the  Indians  of  Minnesota. 
He  was  at  Fort  Abercrombie  during  the  Sioux  outbreak  and 
narrowly  escaped  massacre.  During  the  later  years  of  his  life 
he  was  associated  with  Bishop  Ireland  in  his  colonization  scheme, 
and  while  thus  engaged  was  stricken  with  paralysis,  and  after 
lingering  nearly  two  years,  died.  Mr.  Thompson  was  a  thorough 
gentleman,  a  man  of  unbending  integrity,  and  very  generally 
esteemed  for  his  many  good  qualities.  I  remember  Mrs.  Thomp- 
son as  a  bright,  beautiful  woman,  tall,  graceful  and  amiable,  but 
the  old  times  and  the  old  associations  and  the  old  places  have 
been  and  are  now  passing  away  forever.  But  a  few  golden  links 
remain,  and  they  are  breaking,  breaking,  breaking !  *■ 


Capt.  Symonds  was  originally  a  sea  captain  and  a  man  of 
muscular  power.  He  was  well  developed  physically  and  was  as 
rugged  in  his  nature  as  some  of  the  huge  hills  of  his  own  bonnie 


Scotland,  where  he  was  born  about  the  year  1828;  emigrated 
to  America  in  1848  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1850.  Here  he 
built  the  first  large  ice-house  in  the  city,  and  for  years  was  an 
exclusive  dealer  in  this  article.  His  capacious  buildings  stood 
at  the  foot  of  Eagle  street,  while  the  gathering  of  his  crop  of  ice 
from  the  river  each  year  called  out  a  small  army  of  men.  He 
was  at  one  time  justice  of  the  peace  and  ran  for  Sheriff,  but  was 
defeated.  When  the  gold  excitement  at  Vermillion  lake  broke 
out  he  was  among  the  first  to  enter  that  region,  taking  machinery 
and  men  as  the  representative  of  a  New  York  company.  In  his 
attempt  to  come  out  from  the  mines  alone  he  lost  his  way  and 
very  nearl}'  starved  to  death,  but  his  pluck  and  good  constitution 
saved  him.  He  was  a  man  of  strong  convictions ;  self-reliant  in 
his  nature;  quite  positive;  a  good  judge  of  men  and  a  man  of 



When  in  the  Vermillion  district  the  Captain  had  some  diffi- 
culty with  the  Indians,  and  it  was  found  necessary  to  call  in  the 
powers  of  the  vigilance  committee  to  quell  what  then  appeared 
to  be  a  coming  Indian  fight,  and  he  was  waited  upon  by  the  com- 
mittee to  concede  to  the  Indians  what  was  really  their  rights. 
He  refused,  and  arming  himself  and  carrying  ammunition  into 
his  blacksmith  shop,  defied  the  committee  and  all  the  Indians. 
The  writer  was  then  president  of  that  district  and  knowing  the 
Captain's  will-power  he  called  on  him  in  his  fortified  citadel  and 
after  a  pleasant  argument  the  Captain  gave  in  and  the  difficulty 
was  adjusted.  He  died  several  years  ago  leaving  a  fine  family 
of  boys,  all  of  whom  reflect  great  credit  upon  the  memory  of 
their  father  by  their  upright,  manly  conduct.  Mrs.  Symonds  was 
always  a  sweet,  pretty  woman,  and  in  her  widowhood  has  lost 
none  of  those  charms  which  made  her  a  favorite  years  ago. 


Born  in  Kentucky  in  1822  ;  removed  to  Illinois  in  1834 ;  edu- 
cated at  a  common  school ;  lived  for  a  short  time  at  St.  Louis ; 
then  returned  to  Illinois  ;  in  1842  mined  at  Galena;  remoxed  to 
Prairie  du  Chien  in  1845  '>  learned  the  trade  of  joiner  and  car- 
penter and  painter;  in  Kentucky  built  residences,  hotels,  school 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  257 

buildings,  etc.;  enlisted  in  a  company  of  volunteers  raised  for 
the  Mexican  war  in  Wisconsin;  in  1836,  when  his  time  expired, 
he  went  to  New  Orleans,  Arkansas,  and  Louisville,  Ky.,  where 
he  erected  a  number  of  buildings  ;  arrived  at  St.  Paul  in  1850 ; 
married  on  the  twenty-second  of  November  of  that  year ;  was 
Captain  in  the  State  Militia  in  1863,  under  a  commission  issued 
by  Gov.  Ramsey;  was  Alderman  in  1858;  served  an  unexpired 
term  and  was  re-elected  for  a  full  term  ;  was  school  trustee  ;  was 
appointed  a  special  committee  of  the  Common  Council  to  fill  the 
quota  of  men  of  the  city  for  the  war;  was  appointed  by  the 
Board  of  Health  Chief  Sanitary  Inspector  for  the  city  ;  was  on 
the  Board  of  Public  Works  in  1877,  and  president  of  the  same; 
was  Government  storekeeper  of  the  Quartermaster's  Depart- 
ment ;  storekeeper  of  Commissioner  of  Internal  Revenue ;  was 
chairman  of  the  committee  of  arrangements  of  the  Common 
Council  to  receive  Gen.  Grant  on  his  first  visit  to  St.  Paul  in 
1865  ;  was  in  the  grocery  and  provision  business  from  1857  ^o 
1 862 ;  was  appointed  a  member  of  the  Board  of  Control  in  1 884 
and  is  treasurer  of  the  same,  which  office  he  still  holds ;  is  also 
elder  in  Hope  Church ;  was  contractor  for  painting  the  old 
State  Capitol ;  also  first  Court  House,  Presbyterian  Church, 
building  of  H.  M.  Rice,  etc.;  was  Master  of  the  Ancient  Land- 
Mark  Lodge  of  Masons  five  years,  and  was  presented  with  a 
Past  Master's  jewel  by  this  lodge  for  valuable  services  rendered. 


Before  leaving  to  get  married  in  1850,  Mr.  Wright  pur- 
chased two  lots  in  Rice  and  Irvine's  addition  for  which  he  paid 
$200,  and  on  these  lots  in  the  spring  of  185 1  he  erected  a  cot- 
tage home,  where  he  has  resided  ever  since,  having  never  moved. 
It  was  and  is  now  a  beautiful  and  romantic  spot,  overlooking  the 
river,  and  at  that  time  was  out  in  the  country,  but  his  place  is 
novvthickly  surrounded  with  houses,  and  railroad  trains  run  under 
his  very  windows  many  times  a  day.  Property  worth  now  from 
*^ 1 0,000  to  ;^ 1 2,000. 

He  bought  a  lot  on  Grand  avenue  for  ^^700;  sold  it  for 
;$i,8oo;  worth  now  ^4,000;  three  lots  in  Ed.  Rice's  addition  for 
;$6oo;    sold    for   ;$750;  worth    now  ^3,600;    forty  acres   on    the 



reserve  for  ;^400;  sold  for  $800;  worth  now  ^20,000;  two  lots 
in  Ed.  Rice's  Addition  for  $400;  worth  now  5,000;  one  lot  for 
;$200;  worth  ;!g2,ooo ;  fifteen  feet  on  Fort  street  in  1849,  for 
$  1 ,000  ;  worth  ;|^6,ooo. 


Mr.  Wright  is  a  well-proportioned  man ;  active  and  vigor- 
ous ;  very  pleasant  in  his  ways ;  moderate  in  his  speech ; 
direct  in  his  actions  ;  and  is  perhaps  as  well  known  on  our  streets 
as  any  old  settler  who  has  been  here  for  the  past  thirty-five  years. 
He  has  a  quick  brain  ;  is  always  thinking  or  laying  plans  for 
some  scheme,  and  yet  in  his  movements  he  is  quiet  and  unob- 
trusive. He  is  what  is  termed  a  self-made  man,  having  been 
left  an  orphan  when  quite  young,  and  having  had  no  near  rela- 
tives to  advise  or  look  after  him  ;  is  diversified  in  his  attainments, 
having  been  a  joiner,  a  painter,  a  carpenter,  a  politician,  a  mason, 
an  alderman,  and  a  deacon,  and  yet  in  all  these  affairs  of  life  he 
has  faithfully  performed  his  duty.  He  has  tried  to  be  always 
Wright  and  thus  far  has  succeeded. 

OF  ST,  PAUL,  MINN,  269^ 



First  Legitimate  Dramatic  Performance — First  Concord  Stages — First  Bishop- 
First  City  Clerk — First  McCormack  Reaper — First  Importation — First 
Hook  and  Ladder  Company — First  Leather  Store — First  Pen- 
sion Office — First  School  of  Penmanship — First  Candy 
Maker — First  Sidewalk — First  Big  Fire — First 
Crockery  Store — Incidents  and 


The  first  Territorial  Legislature  met  in  the  old  Central 
House  on  Bench  street,  September  3d,  1849.  The  second  session 
of  the  Legislature  was  held  in  1 850-1,  in  a  brick  building  on 
Third  street,  known  as  the  old  Rice  House,  corner  of  Third  and 
Washington.  The  third  session  of  the  Legislature  was  held  in 
the  winter  of  185 1-2,  in  a  new  brick  building  which  stood  on 
Third  street,  near  where  the  Merchants  hotel  now  stands. 


I  have  already  given  the  particulars  of  the  fight  between 
Joseph  Cooper,  brother  of  Judge  Cooper,  and  James  M.  Good- 
hue, editor  of  the  Pioneer^  whereby  both  parties  where  wounded 
and  from  the  effects  of  which  wounds  the  latter  died.  I  will 
only  say  in  passing  that  the  event  occurred  January  16,  185 1. 



The  Legislature,  having  power  from  the  general  govern- 
ment to  expend  S20,ooo  for  the  location  of  the  Capital  of  the 
Territory,  the  question  was  warmly  discussed  in  the  Legisla- 
ture, and  the  matter  was  finally  compromised  as  follows :  Capi- 
tal to  go  to  St.  Paul,  the  University  to  St.  Anthony  and  the  Peni- 
tentiary to  Stillwater.  Three  Commissioners  were  appointed  to 
supervise  the  erection  of  a  building,  and  a  block  of  land  (the 
present  site,)  given  by  Charles  Bazille  and  Vetal  Guerin,  was 
accepted.  Bazille  gave  the  property  in  his  own  name,  and  Guerin 
reimbursed  Bazille  half  of  a  block  elsewere,  and  hence  they  were 
joint  donors.  The  property  now  belongs  to  the  State  even  if  the 
Capital  is  removed.    The  old  or  first  Capitol  building  cost  $40,000. 


The  first  dramatic  performance  seen  in  St.  Paul,  was  at 
Mazurka  Hall  during  the  month  of  August,  1851,  when  a  troupe 
from  New  Orleans  enacted  "  Slasher  and  Crasher,"  "  Betsy 
Baker,"  and  other  pla}'s.  One  can  see  in  imagination  the  tin- 
selry  and  daub  of  the  stage  of  that  day,  as  well  as  the  crude 
surroundings  of  the  hall ;  the  old  benches,  the  three-footed  stools, 
the  rickety  chairs,  the  tobacco  juice  and  peanut  shells,  the 
s.noked  room,  all  of  which  were  apparent  concomitants  of  a  first- 
class  theatre  of  thirt\'-four  years  ago  !  and  to  this  he  can  hear 
the  wild  shrieks  of  the  "boys,"  or  the  jingling  of  tumblers  in 
the  room  below,  and  form  a  very  correct  idea  of  the  class  of 
amusements  given  to  the  St.  Paul  public  in  1851  !  Now  take  my 
arm,  if  you  please;  walk  with  me  to  Wabasha  street;  let  us 
enter  the  Grand  ;  open  your  eyes  ;  critically  inspect  this  beauti- 
ful house;  see  that  capacious  stage;  look  out  upon  that  audi- 
ence ;  listen  to  those  sweet  strains  of  music ;  observe  the  glitter 
of  the  electric  lights.  Ah !  there  they  come !  what  scenery !  what 
dresses  !  what  actors !  The  dark-vis'agcd  face  of  the  grim  old 
l^ast  crouches  in  one  corner  of  the  opera  room  and  horribly 
grins  as  he  witnesses  the  innovation  of  years,  while  a  sweet 
cherub  angel  floats  over  the  stage  and  smiles  serenely  while  she 
wafts  her  golden  hair  onward  and  upward!  185  i  ! — 1885  !  Pro- 
gress !    Prosperity  !    Pre-eminence ! 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  261 

Rev.  E.  D.  Neill  was  appointed  Superintendent  of  Schools ; 
a  Red  river  train  of  102  wooden  carts  arrived;  treaty  with  the 
Sioux  Indians  made  ;  fifteen  additions  added  to  the  city  ;  appear- 
ance of  Weekly  Miniiesotian ;  Winslow  House  commenced ; 
Catholic  Cathedral  completed. 

W.    R.    MARSHALL. 

Born  in  1825  in  Boone  County,  Mo.,  Governor  Marshall 
came  to  Minnesota  in  1847,  or  thirty-eight  years  ago.  He  is  of 
Irish-Scotch  descent ;  received  a  common  school  education,  and 
when  at  the  age  of  thirteen  years,  in  common  with  his  brother, 
supported  their  mother  and  youngest  sister.  At  the  age  of  six- 
teen years  he  worked  in  the  lead  mines  of  Galena,  111.,  and  in 
1847  he  moved  to  Stillwater,  Minn.,  and  then  to  the  Falls  of  the 
St.  Croix.  He  pre-empted  a  claim  at  St.  Anthony  in  1849, 
which,  had  he  held  it  to  the  present  time,  would  have  made  him 
a  very  rich  man.  In  the  spring  of  1849  he  with  his  brother 
Joseph,  well  known  to  old  settlers,  established  the  first  store  of  gen- 
eral merchandise  at  the  Falls  of  St.  Anthony.  He  surveyed  that 
town  and  was  engaged  by  the  United  States  in  surveying  pine 
lands  on  the  Rum  river.  He  was  elected  to  the  first  Territorial 
Legislature,  and  in  1851  removed  to  St.  Paul  and  established 
the  first  iron  and  heavy  hardware  store,  not  only  in  this  city,  but 
in  the  State.  The  building  was  a  small  wooden  one,  standing- on 
the  ground  now  occupied  by  the  Warner  block,  corner  of  Third 
and  Wabasha  streets,  and  I  remember  it  as  the  "  Sligo  Iron 
Store."  The  brothers  afterwards  occupied  the  stone  building 
adjoining  the  Opera  House  (recently  taken  down,)  and  after 
selling  out  they  established  a  banking  house,  which  finally  went 
down  in  the  financial  revulsion  of  1857.  Gov.  Marshall  pre- 
sided at  the  meeting  which  organized  the  Republican  party  of 
the  State  of  Minnesota,  and  was  brought  out  as  a  candidate  for 
delegate  to  Congress  by  the  St.  Paul  Daily  Times,  then  edited 
by  T.  M.  Newson,  and  was  subsequently  nominated  by  the  con- 
vention, but  through  the  pig-headedness  of  the  anti-Nebraska 
wing  of  the  Democratic  party,  was  defeated,  and  H.  M.  Rice 
elected  in  his  place.  In  1861  he  leased  the  printing  material  of 
the  old  Daily  Times  for  one  year,  and  thus  established  the  St. 
Paul  Daily  Press,  of  which  he  was  one  of  the  editors,  when  in 


1 862  he  entered  the  army  and  did  service  in  the  campaign  against 
the  Indians  under  Gen.  Sibley,  and  then  with  his  regiment  went 
couth,  where  he  was  engaged  in  several  battles  and  was  finally 
commissioned  Brigadier  Gjncral.  In  1865  he  was  nominated  for 
Governor  and  was  elected  to  that  office;  re-elected  in  1867  ;  was 
Railroad  Commissioner  for  several  years  ;  was  in  the  pay  of  the 
United  States  Government  as  special  agent  of  pine  lands,  and  is 
now  Land  Commissioner  of  the  Iron  Range  Railroad. 


Governor  Marshall  is  a  tall,  slender  man,  with  sandy  whis- 
kers and  rather  small  features,  and  is  fearless  and  brave  in  his 
nature.  He  is  generally  sedate  in  expression  and  quite  deliber- 
ate in  speech.  His  head  is  bald,  and  his  whole  demeanor  indi- 
cates a  thoughtful  man.  Very  few  men  have  passed  through  so 
active  a  life  as  Governor  Marshall.  He  has  been  swinging  on 
the  see-saw  board  of  fate — a  good  many  times  up  and  a  good 
many  times  down,  yet  he  is  energetic,  persevering,  cool,  decided. 
He  has  filled  many  places  of  honor  and  of  trust,  and  is  now  in 
comfortable  circum.stances ;  while  he  is  much  esteemed  as  a  man 
and  a  citizen. 


The  Democrat  of  May,  1 85 1 ,  said  : 

*'  About  forty  Sioux  squaws  with  canoes,  have  been  at  work  on  the  Missis- 
sippi for  some  time  past,  driving  logs.  ITiey  I'eceive  for  tlaeir  services  about  a  dollar 
per  day  each.     They  are  very  expert  canoe  paddlers." 

They  looked  somewhat  like  our  fancy  boatmen  of  the  pres- 
ent day  who  now  paddle  their  boats  on  our  river,  but  then  the 
squaws  were  more  thorough)}'  dressed. 


When  in  the  midst  of  the  greatest  rebellion  known  in  the 
history  of  modern  nations — when  surrounded  with  cares,  and 
trials,  and  responsibilities  never  before  assumed  by  a  chief  magis- 
trate— when  opposed  by  a  great  and  brave  military  power,  the 
off-shoot  of  one  immense  famil}* — when  beset  with  danger  from 
without  and  danger  from  within  the  Union  army — when  followed 
by  the  assassin  and  dogged  by  spies — when  bravely  and  nobly 
and  conscientiously  performing  his  dut\'  with  a  grand  heart  and 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  263 

a  grand  purpose,  even  right  in  the  midst  of  his  most  inveterate 
foes — Abraham  Lincoln  uttered  those  memorable  words  which 
will  forever  go  ringing  down  the  corridors  of  Time  and  lose  them- 
selves in  the  ocean  of  Eternity — "  Malice  toward  none  and 
CHARITY  FOR  ALL."  The  historian  should  rise  above  personal  feel- 
ings and  prejudices,  and  should  endeavor  to  imitate  the  great 
patriot  in  his  noble  expression,  and  in  delineation  of  character 
should  clearl)' exemplify  the  motto — "Malice  toward  none  and 
charity  for  all."  Upon  this  basis  Pen  Pictures  were  started,  and 
upon  this  basis  they  have  struck  a  responsive  chord  in  the  popular 
heart,  and  upon  this  basis  they  will  go  to  the  world  in  book  form, 
and  upon  this  basis  they  will  be  best  known  in  history.  The 
bright  side  of  life  is  the  real  life,  and  when  I  can  say  nothing 
good  of  a  man  I  shall  leave  a  blank  where  his  name  ought  to 
appear ;  but  experience  has  taught  me  that  many  good  deeds 
are  often  forgotten  while  some  bad  deeds  are  greatly  magnified. 
I  do  not  propose  to  mar  an  otherwise  symmetrical  career  because 
I  find  upon  it  a  few  indifferent  blemishes  ;  so,  with  "  malice  to- 
ward none  and  charity  for  all,  I  shall  continue  my  Pen  Pictures 
until  the  great  Public  calls — "  Stop." 


The  first  stage  in  the  shape  of  a  two  seated  wagon,  was  run 
from  St.  Paul  to  St.  Anthony  by  Messrs.  Wiloughby  &  Powers, 
in  the  year  1849.  In  the  fall  they  added  a  four-horse  spring 
Avagon  that  would  carry  fourteen  passengers,  and  in  1851  intro- 
duced the  first  stage  coach  ever  run  in  Minnesota.  It  is  still  in 
existence,  and  is  "  as  sound  as  a  nut."  In  the  fall  of  185  i  Ben- 
son &  Pattison  entered  into  competition  with  Willoughby  & 
Powers,  and  two  lines  of  stages  were  established  between  St. 
Paul  and  St.  Anthony,  one  the  "  Red  Line"  and  one  the  **  Yel- 
low," and  the  regular  price  of  seventy-five  cents  was  reduced  to 
twenty-five  cents.  The  opposition  line  went  Willoughby  &  Pow- 
ers one  better  and  reduced  the  fare  to  ten  cents,  and  then  the 
fun  commenced. 


One  day  Wiloughby  &  Powers'  coaches,  filled  with  twenty 
passengers  at  ten  cents  per  head,  were  reigned  up  in  front  of  the 


old  American  House,  where  pay  was  usually  taken,  when  one  of 
the  passengers  wanted  a  drink.  Willoughby,  who  was  present, 
and  who  felt  remarkably  good  over  obtaining  all  the  passengers 
for  the  Falls  away  from  his  competitors  that  day,  treated  the 
thirsty  individual,  when  nineteen  more  passengers  pounced  upon 
the  unfortunate  proprietor,  who,  in  the  goodness  of  his  heart,  set 
them  up  to  the  tune  of  just  ;sS3.oo,  and  as  the  aggregated  fare  for 
the  twenty  was  only  ^2.00,  the  stage  company  not  only  furnished 
the  ride  to  St.  Anthony  for  nothing  but  gave  each  passenger  a 
good  square  drink  and  five  cents  apiece  besides !  After  the 
drinks  the  first  man  treated  slapped  Willoughby  on  the  back  and 
exclaimed — *'  You  are  just  the  man  for  a  new  country — you  must 
succeed."  And  he  did  succeed — the  wrong  way,  for  subse- 
quently both  lines  sold  out  to  Alvaren  Allen,  and  the  firm  be- 
came Allen  &  Chase,  and  then  Burbank,  Blakely  &  Merriam, 
and  now  it  is  Blakely  &  Carpenter. 


I  v/ell  remember,  after  returning  from  Washington  in  t86i, 
where  I  had  been  to  receive  the  appointment  of  postmaster  of  St. 
Paul,  (but  where  I  had  been  politically  sold,  with  many  other 
good  men,) — I  say  I  well  remember  the  smiling  face  and  twink- 
ling eyes  of  Col.  Allen  at  LaCrosse,  who,  after  poking  us  up  with 
buffalo  robes  and  shutting  the  stage  door,  broke  out  into  a  hearty 
"  Ha !  ha  !  ha  !  " 

"What's  the  matter?"  I  inquired. 

"  0-ho !  "  said  the  Colonel,  "  the-them  fe-fellows  are  go-going 
h-ho-home  in  the  s-we-swearing  c-car !  "  and  he  again  burst  forth 
into  one  of  the  most  unearthly  laughs  that  ever  emanated  from  a 
human  stomach,  which  so  frightened  the  horses  that  it  set  us 
whirling  over  the  road  at  a  very  rapid  speed,  to  the  imminent 
danger  of  our  lives.  The  Colonel  ca7t  laugh  like  a  ten-horse 
steam  engine ! 


Who  does  not  remember  the  good  old  stage  times  of  years 
ago?  The  preparation,  the  reality,  the  trip!  With  what  delight 
one  mounted  the  rocking  vehicle  !  With  what  ecstasy  he  snuffed 
the  morning  air!  With  what  joy  he  hailed  the  country  and  its 
beautiful  scenery !     With  what  pride  he  gazed  on  the  leaders  as 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  265 

they  lifted  their  proud  heads  and  capered  on  their  way !     And 
then  the  driver !  how  he  held  the  ribbons,  and  cracked  his  whip, 
and  grew  big  with  importance,  and  bragged   of  his  team,  and 
came  in  ahead  of  time !     The  landlord  of  the  little  country  inn 
shook  his  sides  with  extreme  pleasure  as  he  saw  the  crowded 
stage  gallantly  making  its  way  to  his   door !     And  then  such 
meals  of  salt  pork,  and  fried  potatoes,  and  boiled  ham,  and  fried 
eggs,  and  stale  bread,  and  pea  coffee !     Nobody  grumbled  ;  the 
charges  were  moderate,  and  even  if  the  passenger  didn't  sleep  the 
night  before,  he  could  doze  away  in  the  good  old  stage  as  it  went 
rattling  along  to  its  destination  !    The  song,  the  joke,  the  story,  the 
new  acquaintance, — all  gone, — how  they  come  back  to  memory  1 
And  that  good,  dear  old  stage,  and  that  garrulous  driver,  and 
those  glorious  leaders,  with  blue  ribbons  in  their  head-gear,  and 
the    lovely  country,   and    the   running  streams,  and  the   crude 
bridges,  and  the  blue-eyed  girl,  so  angelic  in  the  eyes  of  youth, 
and  the  way-side  stopping  places,  and  the  early  morning  start,  and 
the  break-down  in  mud,  and  the  delay,  and  the  midnight  meal, 
and  the  sound  sleep ;  aye,  even  the  horn  which  announced  our 
coming  have  all  passed  from  our  gaze  forever  and  in  their  places 
have  come  the  huge  steam-engine,  the  dirty  fireman,  the  active 
brakeman,  the  polite  conductor,  the  Pullman  sleepers,  the  palace 
dining  cars,  and  whiz,  whiz,  whiz,  away  we  go  amid  smoke,  and 
cinders,  and  dust,  to  battle  again  with  the  material  and  business 
elements  of  life  !     So,  good-bye,  old  stage,  old  times,  old  associa- 
tions, old  and  delightful  memories  of  a  by-gone  age !     Good-bye 
leaders,  and   drivers,  and  landlords,  and  country,  and   streams, 
and  birds,  and  nature,  and  happiness,  and  joy,  and  girl,  and  fresh 
air,  and  good  appetites,  and  health-inspiring  vigor! — good-bye  1 
Like  the  old  man  who  has  carried  many  a  burden,  the  old  stage 
has  been  shoved   out  on  to  the  frontier  by  newer  and  fresher 
blood,  there  to  finally  leave  its  bones  amid  the  soil  of  a  new 
people !     Good-bye ! 


Near  where  Gates  A.  Johnson's  residence  now  stands,  just 
beyond  the  house  of  D.  W.  IngersoU.  was  found  on  the  morning 
of  April  4,  1 85 1,  the  body  of  a  dead  Indian.  Not  far  from  this 
point  was  an  encampment  of  Winnebagoes,  and  the  Sheriff,  with 


a  body  of  soldiers,  repaired  thither  to  arrest  the  murderer  and 
bring  him  to  justice.  While  quietly  cooking  their  evening  meal 
the  officer  inquired  of  Che-en-u-\vaz-hee-kavv,  or  Standing  Lodge, 
if  he  knew  anything  about  the  murder.  '*  Of  course  I  do,"  he 
replied — "  I  killed  him  !  "  He  had  been  selected  by  his  tribe  to 
kill  the  Indian  for  some  offense  for  which  the  penalty  was  death, 
and  he  had  simply  performed  his  duty  according  to  the  Indian 
idea  and  Indian  custom.  Standing  Rock  was  arrested  without 
any  opposition  on  his  part,  incarcerated  in  Sheriff  Lull's  carpen- 
ter shop,  and  finally  was  held  over  to  the  grand  jury  which  met 
in  the  middle  of  the  month.  He  was  released  upon  his  word  of 
honor  that  he  would  appear  at  the  proper  time,  and  notching  a 
stick  to  number  the  days  to  be  sure  to  be  present  when  wanted, 
he  went  his  way  to  hunt  with  his  tribe.  Very  unexpectedly  to 
everybody,  he  made  his  appearance  at  the  first  day  of  court  sit- 
ting upon  the  doorstep,  ready  for  his  fate.  Every  day  for  a  week 
he  came  and  waited  but  his  case  could  not  be  called.  He  was 
finally  indicted  by  the  grand  jury,  but  never  attempted  to  escape, 
and  was  at  last  discharged,  leaving  the  white  men  with  all  their 
boasted  chivalry  with  a  manhood  untarnished  and  a  word  of 
honor  unimpeached. 


Gen.  Van  Etten  was  born  about  1836;  graduated  at  Union 
College  in  1848-9;  entered  the  law  office  of  Hon.  Samuel  J. 
Wilkin,  father  of  our  Judge  Wilkin  ;  was  admitted  to  the  bar  in 
1 85 1 ,  and  came  St.  Paul  the  same  year ;  was  appointed  Adjutant- 
General  of  the  Territory  of  Minnesota  by  Gov.  Gorman,  in  1853, 
and  held  the  office  until  1858;  was  a  member  of  the  Territorial 
Council  in  1853-4;  formed  a  law  partnership  with  the  late  Col. 
Alexander  Wilkin  in  January,  1853,  the  latter  retiring  in  the 
fall — the  firm  of  Ames  &  Van  Etten  succeeding,  the  late  Michael 
E.  Ames  being  his  partner.  This  firm  became  Ames,  Van  Etten 
&  Officer,  and  afterwards  Van  Etten  &  Officer  until  1 865.  In  1 863 
he  was  appointed  Consul  of  the  United  States  to  Jerusalem  by  the 
President  through  Gov.  Seward,  then  Secretary  of  State,  which 
appointment  he  declined.  Gen.  Van  Etten  retired  from  practice 
in  1 866  on  account  of  a  disease  of  theheart,  but  resumed  practice 
in  1872  with  Hon.  L.  Emmett.     He  died  December  28,  1873. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  267 

Mr.  Van  Etten  was  a  tall,  active  man,  full  of  life  and  anima- 
tion, and  at  the  time  I  knew  him  was  a  great  Democratic  poli- 
tician. He  was  a  devoted  friend  of  the  late  Gov.  Gorman  and 
was  at  one  time  his  Adjutant  General.  His  tall  and  command- 
ing figure  (though  then  quite  young,)  attracted  attention,  while 
his  social  qualities  won  him  many  friends.  He  was  very  active, 
impulsive,  easily  excited,  yet  back  of  all  this  there  was  a  good, 
honest  heart.  He  gravitated  into  politics  as  naturally  as  a  child 
digs  into  sand,  but  several  years  before  his  death  he  abandoned 
politics  and  devoted  his  attention  to  business,  and  having,  through 
others,  lost  considerable  money,  his  health  gave  way  and  he 
died  at  about  thirtv-seven  \'ears  of  ai^^e. 


Mrs.  Van  Etten  is  yet  quite  a  fine  and  young-looking  lady, 
having,  however,  passed  through  much  tribulation  in  the  death 
of  her  husband,  her  father,  and  all  her  brothers.  She  is  an 
excellent  singer,  and  though  among  the  last  of  her  family  is  as 
amiable,  and  as  pleasant,  and  indeed  almost  as  young,  as  when 
many  years  ago  I  first  met  her  as  simply  Miss  Jane  Oakes. 

A  thoughtful  writer  has  said,  that  if  "  we  die  to-day  the  sun 
will  shine  as  brightly  and  the  birds  will  sing  as  sweetly  to-mor- 
row. Business  will  not  be  suspended  a  moment,  and  the  great 
mass  will  not  bestow  a  thought  upon  our  memories.  *  Is  he 
dead?'  will  be  the  solemn  inquiry  of  a  few  as  they  pass  to  work. 
No  one  will  miss  us  except  our  immediate  connections,  and  in  a 
short  time  they  will  forget  and  laugh  as  merrily  as  when  we  sat 
beside  them.  Thus  shall  we  all,  now  active  in  life,  pass  away. 
Our  children  crawl  close  behind  us,  and  they  will  soon  be  gone. 
In  a  few  years  not  a  living  being  can  say,  '  I  remember.'  We 
lived  in  another  age  and  did  business  with  those  who  slumber  in 
the  tomb.     This  is  life.     How  rapidly  it  passes." 

*'Our  friends  are  waiting  for  us, 

The  loved,  the  tried,  the  true, 
But  time's  frail,  misty  curtain 

Now  hides  them  from  our  view; 
Tliey've  reached  the  quiet  harbor — ■ 

Not  lost,  but  gone  before, 
And  now  they  wait  to  greet  us 

Upon  the  distant  shore." 


"just  mv  luck." 

An  old  settler  of  St.  Paul  who  was  given  somewhat  to 
profanity,  took  the  cars  years  ago  at  Dubuque,  Iowa,  for  the 
East — then  there  were  no  railroad  lines  in  Minnesota — and  when 
seated  in  the  coach  he  indulged  quite  freely  in  profane  remarks. 
Just  back  of  him  was  a  young  minister,  now  of  St.  Paul,  (the 
name  I  suppress,)  who,  after  a  while  became  uneasy  and  beliex- 
ing  that  now  was  a  good  time  to  save  a  soul,  reached  over  and 
patting  the  profane  man  on  the  back,  exclaimed — "  My  friend, 
you  are  on  the  road  to  h — 11 !  "  "  Is  that  so  ?  "  asked  the  old 
settler,  "that's  just  my  d — n  luck — I  bought  a  ticket  for  Roch- 


After  J.  C.  Burbank  dissolved  with  Wm.  Constans  (as  they 
both  were  in  the  express  business  originally,)  Mr.  Burbank  made 
a  specialty  of  the  express  enterprise,  became  his  own  messenger, 
and  in  1851  the  business  began  to  increase  largely.  Several 
partnerships  were  formed  and  dissolved,  when  C.  T.  Whitney 
united  with  Burbank  and  added  to  the  business  that  of  forward- 
ing and  commission  merchants.  In  1854  regular  messengers 
were  employed  and  the  business  constantly  increased,  and  has 
continued  to  increase  ever  since,  and  from  a  small  beginning  has 
grown  to  a  gigantic  enterprise.  The  leading  figure  in  this  move- 
ment was  J.  C.  Burbank,  and  he  may  very  properly  be  denomi- 
nated as  the  father  of  the  express  business  in  Minnesota. 


Shakespeare  says : 

* '  Our  douljts  are  traitors,  which  make  us  lose  the  good 
We  oft  mii;ht  win,  by  fearing  to  attempt." 

Years  ago  the  old  settler  had  great  doubts  as  to  the  growth 
of  St.  Paul  ;  great  doubts  as  to  the  ultimate  value  of  the  land 
upon  which  the  present  city  is  built;  doubts  as  to  its  population; 
doubts  as  to  its  commercial  importance;  doubts  as  to  its  railroad 
interests  ;  and  so,  many  of  them,  "  fearing  to  attempt,"  lost  much 
good  financially  they  might  otherwise  have  won.  Many  of  these 
doubts  have  disappeared  in  the  march  of  time,  but  then  the  old 
settler  is  not  as  supple  and  as  ambitious  as  he  was  twenty-five 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN,  209 


years  ago,  nor  does  he  care  as  much  for  money  as  he  did  then. 
He  fears  to  venture.  He  has  seen  many  of  the  ups  and  downs 
in  Hfe.  He  halts;  he  hesitates;  he  quibbles  ;  he  doubts ;  when 
a  young  and  inexperienced  scion  from  the,  with  his  papa's 
money,  jumps  over  his  head  and  takes  the  prize.  The  old  settler 
simply  submits,  and  philosophically  exclaims — "  Just  my  d — n 


Up  to  this  year  the  Sioux  Indians  owned  all  the  land  on  the 
west  side  of  the  Mississippi  river,  but  a  treaty  was  made  with 
them  on  the  23d  of  July,  185 1,  at  Traverse  des  Sioux,  whereby 
they  ceded  21,000,000  acres  of  land  to  the  United  States,  and 
this  land  is  now  covered  with  villages,  towns,  cities,  railroad 
tracks,  farms,  energy,  enterprise  and  capital,  and  where  will  one 
day  arise  an  empire  that  will  astonish  the  world.  01  course 
there  was  great  rejoicing  over  the  treaty  because  the  land  would 
be  open  to  settlement,  the  traders  would  get  their  money  due 
from  the  Indians,  and  the  Indians  themselves  would  have  money 
to  expend  with  the  whites.  It  was  the  opening  of  a  new  era  in 
the  history  of  the  Northwest ;  it  meant,  to  push  the  Indians  on  to 
the  frontier;  it  was,  as  Goodhue  then  wrote  in  185 1,  the  intro- 
duction of  "  farms  with  their  fences,  and  white  cottages,  and 
waving  wheat-fields,  and  vast  jungles  of  rustling  maize,  and  vil- 
lages, and  cities  crowned  with  spires,  and  railroads  with  trains  of 
cars  rumbling  afar  off — and  now  nearer  and  nearer  the  train 
comes  thundering  across  the  bridge  into  St.  Paul,  fifteen  hours 
from  St.  Louis  on  the  way  to  Lake  Superior."  All  of  this  has 
been  realized  and  more  too,  in  thirty-four  years,  and  many  of 
those  who  attended  that  treaty  still  live  as  witnesses  of  this 
unparalleled  growth.  The  Sioux  Indians  have  been  swept  out- 
side of  the  borders  of  Minnesota  since  1 851,  and  still  the  tide  of 
civilization  rolls  on. 


Rt.  Rev.  Joseph  Cretin  was  consecrated  Bishop  on  the  26th 
of  January,  1851,  and  arrived  in  St.  Paul  on  the  2d  of  July  of 
the  same  year,  or  thirty-four  years  ago.  Since  the  days  of  the 
good  Father  Galtier,  the  first  priest,  the  Catholic  Church  had 


grown  to  large  proportions,  and  it  became  necessary  to  have  a 
Bishop  to  direct  its  movements.  Father  Ravoux,  who  took  the 
place  of  Rev.  Galtier  in   1844,  speaking  of  Bishop  Cretin,  says: 

"  All  those  who  have  been  well  acquainted  with  him  are  convinced  that  he  con- 
stantly walked  in  the  footsteps  of  Saint  Paul,  by  zeal,  piety,  charity,  humility, 
incessant  labor  and  patience  in  sufferings;  not  only  after  his  consecration,  but  also 
when  a  priest,  when  in  the  seminaire  and  in  the  college.  He  put  immediately  his 
hand  to  the  plow,  and,  faithful  to  the  advice  of  our  Saviour,  did  not  look  behind.  He 
knew  for  whom  he  worked,  and  however  difficult  the  task  miglit  be,  supported  by 
Divine  grace,  he  was  always  cheerful.  Before  the  lapse  of  five  months  after  hi> 
arrival  in  St.  Paul,  he  erected  on  block  seven,  in  vSt.  Paul  proper,  a  brick  build- 
ing, eighty-four  feet  long  by  forty-four  wide,  three  stories  and  a  half  high,  including 
the  basement.  That  building  became  immediately  the  second  Cathedral  of  St.  Paul, 
and  also  the  second  residence  of  the  Rt.  Rev.  Bishop,  of  his  priests  and  semina- 
rians; and  in  a  few  months  after  some  apartments  of  the  basement  were  used  as. 
school-room  for  boys.  The  young  girls  were  also  to  be  provided  with  Catholic 
schools,  and  in  1852  the  Sisters  of  St.  Joseph  devoted  themselves  in  St.  Paul  to 
the  holy  work  of  their  institute,  and  they  opened  their  schools  on  the  property  of 
the  church  on  Third  street.  (This  is  the  same  ground  now  occupied  by  the  Pio7ieer 
Press  office  and  other  buildings.)" 


Good  Father  Ravoux  continues  his  narrative : 

"After  the  Bishop's  departure  for  France,  aware  of  the  necessity  of  securing 
some  lots  for  the  Cathedral  and  other  purposes,  I  bought  of  Mr.  Vetal  Guerin 
twenty-one  lots  for  $800,  and  for  $100  the  lot  on  whicli  now  stands  the  Cathedral. 
This  last  I  bought  of  another  person  who  had  already  some  lumber  on  the  ground 
for  a  building.  He  had  bought  the  same  on  credit  of  Mr.  Guerin  for  $60.  He 
deeded  me  that  lot  for  $40  profit.  I  considered  the  purchase  of  the  twenty-two  lot.s 
a  very  good  bargain  for  the  church,  as  also  a  good  one  for  Mr.  Guerin,  because  it 
was  understood  that  the  Cathedral  and  other  buildings  w  uld  be  erected  on  block 
seven,  and  such  improvements  would  increase  the  value  of  Mr.  Cruerin's  property. 
The  event  proved  that  I  was  not  deceived  in  my  expectation.  The  Right  Rev. 
Bishop  after  his  return  from  France,  paid  the  money  for  the  twenty-two  lots  and. 
received  the  deed;  I  had  but  a  bond  for  the  security  of  our  bargain." 

These  twenty-two  lots  which  cost  S900  in  1851,  are  now 
worth  not  less  than  $500,000,  possibly  $800,000,  so  Father  Ra- 
voux made  a  most  excellent  bargain  for  the  church.  If  I  under- 
stand the  matter  the  property  runs  from  Sixth  street  on  Wa- 
basha to  Seventh  ;  from  Seventh  to  St.  Peter  ;  from  St.  Peter  to 
Sixth,  and  from  Sixth  to  Wabasha,  including  the  old  Cathedral, 
the  new  Cathedral,  the  residence  of  the  Bishop,  schools,  stores, 
etc.  It  is  now  in  the  heart  of  the  city  and  is  a  very  valuable 
piece  of  property. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINK  271 


Of  the  death  of  this  good  man  Father  Ravoux  says : 

"The  Right  Rev.  Bishop  died  on  the  22d  of  February  1857.  His  illness  had 
been  very  long  and  painful,  but  he  always  continued  to  be  the  good  and  faithful  ser- 
vant of  God,  bearing  with  the  greatest  patience  all  his  sufferings.  More  than  once 
when  his  pains  Avere  most  intense,  I  heard  him  exclaim — 'It  is  good  for  me  to 
suffer  for  my  sins.  As  I  cannot  work  I,  at  least,  ought  to  offer  my  pains  to  God  for 
the  faithful  and  for  all.' " 

The  writer  well  remembers  the  funeral  of  Bishop  Cretin. 
It  was  the  largest  ever  held  in  the  city  up  to  that  time.  The 
priests,  the  children,  the  mournful  music,  the  sincere  mourners, 
the  immense  procession  as  it  moved  slowly  along  our  streets, 
demonstrated  the  great  esteem  in  which  the  Rev.  Bishop  was 
held.  Indeed  I  have  seen  many  large  funerals  since  then, 
but  none  so  solemn,  and  so  imposing,  and  so  sincere,  and  so 
grand,  as  that  which  conveyed  to  the  tomb  all  that  remained  of 
the  once  greatly  esteemed  Bishop  Cretin. 

Bishop  Cretin  was  a  fine  and  intellectual  looking  man,  with 
a  very  pleasant  face,  and  a  serene  yet  subdued  expression.  He 
was  partially  bald,  wore  glasses  and  had  all  the  politeness  of  the 
French.  He  dressed  in  his  ministerial  garments,  and  was  very 
devotedly  attached  to  the  church  of  which  he  was  the  honored 


Capt.  Russell  Blakely  may  be  said  to  have  originated  this 
business,  having  sold  out  his  interest  with  J.  C.  Burbank  &  Co. 
and  taken  a  contract  to  transport  goods  from  New  York  to  the 
Red  River  of  the  North,  and  thence  to  Hudson  Bay.  He  with 
others  built  the  first  steamer  on  the  Red  river  and  carried  on  the 
business  successfully  some  years,  when  J.  C.  &  Henry  C.  Bur- 
bank  followed  it  up  quite  extensively.  This  branch  of  trade  was 
of  great  benefit  to  St.  Paul  as  well  as  to  St.  Cloud,  and  was  only 
abandoned  when  pushed  out  by  railroads. 


This  year  102  Red  river  carts  made  their  way  to  St.  Paul. 
These  carts  were  on  two  wheels  only  and  were  composed  entirely 
of  wood  and  leather,  no  iron  whatever  being  used  about  them. 
To  them  were  hitched  singly  oxen  with  raw-hide  harnesses,  and 


the  train  would  come  into  the  city  in  single  file  accompanied  with 
half-breed  drivers,  fantastically  dressed.  As  no  oil  or  grease  was 
used  about  the  axles  the  squeaking  noise  these  carts  made  was 
enough  to  drive  a  Christian  mad.  They  brought  in  furs  and 
carried  back  some  gold,  with  groceries  and  provisions.  In  1858 
about  600  of  these  carts  came  to  the  city,  and  then  the  trade 
began  to  decrease.  The  time  consumed  on  the  journey  from 
Pembina  to  St.  Paul  was  usually  thirty  days,  sometimes  longer, 
according  to  the  condition  of  the  roads. 

Pemmican  is  a  preparation  of  raw  buffalo  meat,  dried^ 
pounded  and  mixed  with  tallow,  and  then  pressed  into  a  bag 
made  from  a  buffalo  hide.  It  was  the  principal  sustenance  of  the 
Red  river  men  who  accompanied  the  carts,  and  though  unpalat- 
able to  a  man  who  gets  tender-loin  beef-steak  at  our  hotels,  yet 
it  was  essential  and  valuable  food  for  those  whose  business  it 
was  to  navigate  our  plains. 

And  so  these  singular  vehicles  of  commerce  have  disap- 
peared, and  even  the  stage  and  the  steamboat  that  took  their 
places  to  a  degree,  have  been  supplanted  by  the  irrepressible 
railroad  train  that  now  precedes  even  the  march  of  civilization 
and  pushes  the  Indian  race  on  to  the  extreme  borders  of  the 
American  continent.  These  elements  of  the  past  have  only  com- 
bined to  make  St.  Paul  the  focal  point  of  an  immense  trade, 
and  this  with  her  railroad  interests  and  a  population  of  120,000, 
place  her  pre-eminently  before  the  world  as  the  great  city  of  the 
new  Northwest. 


Colonel  Allen  was  born  in  the  State  of  New  York  in  1822  ; 
moved  with  his  father  on  a  farm  in  Wisconsin  in  1837,  ^vhere  he 
remained  five  years ;  attended  the  high  school  in  Beloit  during 
the  winter,  and  drove  team  summers  to  pay  his  way  ;  clerked  in 
a  retail  store  for  two  years ;  in  a  jobbing  house  in  Milwaukee  for 
three  years  ;  left  for  Dubuque,  Iowa,  and  arrived  at  St.  Paul  in 
1851  ;  visited  St.  Anthony  ;  fell  in  love  with  the  P'alls  and  the 
country  surrounding  ;  loaned  a  gentleman  his  team  to  go  to  St. 
Paul,  for  which  he  received  $5,  tlien  the  next  day  $\o,  and  then 
the  Colonel  exclaimed — "Wife,  I've  struck  it;  livery  is  our  busi- 
ness ;"  and  immediately  four  horses  and  three  wagons  followed  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  273 

single  team,  and  Allen  was  on  the  road  to  wealth  and  to  glory. 
Seeing  that  he  had  struck  a  lead,  he  then  added  the  veterinary 
practice,  and  in  this  he  was  as  successful  as  in  the  livery  business, 
receiving  as  high  as  ^50  for  curing  a  single  horse  in  the  last  stages 
of  disease  ;  in  five  years  he  had  a  stable  of  fifty  horses,  carriages, 
wagons,  harnesses,  and  in  1856  purchased  the  stage  line  and 
mail  route  of  Patterson,  Benson  &  Ward,  but  subsequently  sold 
one-half  interest  to  C.  L.  Chase,  then  Secretary  of  the  Territory, 
and  they  jointly  secured  the  route  from  St.  Paul  to  St.  Anthony 
for  $21,000.  In  1859,  in  connection  with  the  owners  of  the 
Northwestern  Express  Company,  the  firm  started  the  line  xrom 
St.  Paul  to  La  Crosse,  and  soon  after  consolidated,  thus  crippling 
contemplated  opposition  and  making  J.  C.  Burbank  manager.  A 
party  of  stage  men,  however,  came  on  to  St.  Paul  to  establish  a 
line,  and  after  losing  ;^7 5,000,  withdrew,  leaving  the  field  to  the 
old  company. 

Col.  Allen  followed  the  stage  business  up  to  1859  when  he 
entered  railroading,  which  he  continued  through  1873,  and  then 
purchased  Col.  Shaw's  interest  and  lease  in  the  Merchants  hotel 
for  ;$40,ooo ;  he  then  bought  the  hotel  itself  of  Col.  Potter  for 
;$275,ooo,  and  has  added  largely  to  its  accommodations  since 
then,  making  its  present  value  not  far  from  $500,000. 

Col.  Allen  was  the  second  Mayor  of  St.  Anthony ;  has  been 
Alderman  for  four  terms,  or  eight  years,  of  the  city  of  St.  Paul, 
and  president  of  the  Council  four  years. 


In  early  days  he  made  a  claim  where  Minneapolis  now  is, 
of  160  acres  of  land,  the  same  ground  upon  which  the  Harvester 
Works  are  built.  He  sold  this  claim  for  $5,000;  worth  $1,000,- 
000;  purchased  two  lots  on  Dayton  avenue,  with  a  small  house, 
where  he  made  his  home,  for  $1,600;  sold  the  same  for  $12,000; 
worth  $15,000;  bought  of  Mr.  Rhiel  his  residence  on  Dayton 
avenue  for  $13,500,  finished  it  up  and  sold  the  property  for  $34,- 
000  ;  worth  $45 ,000. 

Col.  Allen  is  always  cool.     I  never  saw  him  in  a  hurry,  and 
yet  he  accomplishes  a  great  deal  of  labor  and    runs   his  huge 
mammoth  eating  establishment  like  clock-work. 


R.    C.    BUKDICK. 

Burdick  is  a  character,  but  as  I  can't  catch  him  as  he  is  I 
shall  have  to  catch  him  on  the  fly.  He  was  born  in  Michigan  in 
1834;  had  a  common  school  education;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1851  ;  from  Elgin  to  Galena  he  supposed  he  was  to  ride  in  the 
stage,  but  "  walked  half  the  way  and  carried  a  rail  the  other 
half; "  paid  the  captain  of  a  steamer  to  St.  Paul  his  last  nickel ; 
"  struck  the  town  a  pauper,"  so  he  says  ;  went  to  H.  M.  Rice  for 
a  loan ;  got  it ;  started  up  the  couiitry  and  brought  up  at  Watab  ; 
some  time  afterwards  read  law  with  Rice,  Hollinshead  &  Becker  ; 
didn't  think  he  would  make  a  lawyer  and  gave  it  up ;  clerked 
for  S.  B.  Lowry  at  Watab  in  the  winter  of  1852-3  ;  went  to  Pem- 
bina in  1853;  wintered  in  1854-5  ^^  S^-  Joseph,  thirty  miles  west 
of  Pembina;  hunted  buffalo  in  the  summer  of  1855  ;  in  that  fall 
was  elected  a  member  of  the  Territorial  Legislature  representing 
more  counties  than  people;  in  1856  went  into  the  general  trading 
business  at  Watab ;  the  crash  came  and  wiped  him  out ;  entered 
the  service  of  Mr.  Kittson  ;  took  charge  of  his  Red  river  wooden 
carts,  and  continued  with  him  up  to  1862;  came  down  from  the 
P'ort  Garry  country  with  a  company  of  eight,  only  three  of  whom 
are  living;  entered  the  services  of  the  Stage  Company  in  1863, 
and  continued  up  to  1865  ;  that  year  engaged  with  the  Hudson 
Bay  Company;  continued  with  them  five  years';  ran  a  store  in 
Winnipeg;  was  there  when  the  rebellion  broke  out  in  1869-70; 
was  imprisoned  by  the  order  of  Riel ;  but  was  so  well  acquainted 
with  the  French  half-breeds  and  spoke  their  language  so  accu- 
rately, that  Riei  couldn't  get  them  to  hold  him  and  he  was 
released  ;  had  charge  of  men  in  i  ci/o  to  build  a  United  States  fort 
at  Pembina  ;  in  1871  was  in  the  employ  of  H.  C.  Burbank,  ship- 
ping goods  under  contract  of  Hudson  Bay  Company;  w^as  in  the 
employ  of  the  St.  Paul  and  Pacific  P^levator  Company  in  1872  ; 
moved  to  Willmar  in  1873;  was  with  Commodore  Davidson  in 
1877,  as  "general  utility"  man;  was  employed  by  the  Millers' 
Association  at  Minneapolis  in  1879,  ^^^^  remained  with  them  u\) 
to  1 88 1  ;  then  \\as  employed  by  A.  B.  Stickney  to  take  charge 
of  a  body  of  men  to  explore  and  survey  a  pass  in  the  Rocky 
Mountains  900  miles  west  from  Winnipeg  ;  two  years  after  this  he 
went  to  the  same  place  in  a  Pullman  car;  and  was  finally  in  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  .  27. y 

employ  of  the  Canadian  Pacific  Railroad  Company  as  supply 
agent.  Mr.  Burdick  is  the  father  of  six  children,  five  of  whom 
still  live. 


Mr.  Burdick  says  that  in  the  winter  of  1855  the  Indians 
were  very  troublesome  in  the  settlement  of  St.  Joseph  where  he 
was  then  living,  making  frequent  raids  upon  the  settlers,  stealing 
horses  and  killing  such  of  the  inhabitants  as  could  be  found  away 
from  the  village.  Mrs.  Spencer,  wife  of  a  missionary,  was  killed 
by  them  that  summer,  and  when  discovered  she  was  lying  upon 
the  floor  dead,  with  two  children,  three  and  five  years  old,  sitting 
on  each  side  of  her  body,  and  a  babe  upon  her  bosom  whose 
face  was  all  bloody  from  its  efforts  to  secure  nourishment.  The 
citizens  got  track  of  a  party  of  Indians  that  summer  and  followed 
the  trail ;  met  and  killed  four  out  of  seven,  and  two  more  of  the 
remaining  three  were  slain  by  hunters  on  the  plains,  so  Mrs. 
Spencer's  death  was  avenged,  but  it  did  not  bring  back  the  dead 
mother  to  the  poor  little  children. 

A    CLOSE    CALL BURDICK    AS    A    MAN. 

In  the  winter  of  1854-5  Burdick  made  a  trip  from  Pembina 
to  Crow  Wing  with  dogs  and  on  snow-shoes.  The  first  day  out 
the  dogs  broke  into  the  provisions  and  devoured  all  there  was, 
leaving  the  party  to  exist  on  tea  and  rotten  fish  the  rest  of  the 
trip,  but  they  came  out  alive  though  considerably  emaciated. 

Although  fifty  years  of  age  yet  Mr.  Burdick  is  as  vigorous 
and  as  active  as  a  person  of  thirty  years.  He  has  been  a  great 
roamer ;  is  bubbling  all  over  with  fun ;  is  full  of  magnetism, 
with  a  well  developed  physical  organization  capable  of  enduring 
almost  any  amount  of  exposure  and  fatigue.  He  is  an  off-hand, 
humorous,  kind-hearted  gentleman,  and  can  show  a  record  of 
experiences  in  the  Northwest  that  can  discount  any  other  traveler. 
He  now  resides  in  this  city,  and  is  chief  State  Inspector  of  Wheat. 


Mr.  Hough  was  born  in  New  York  in  1 827 ;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1851  ;  was  appointed  Deputy  Clerk  of  the  District  Court 
of  Ramsey  County,  which  office  he  held  until  i860,  when  he  was 
elected  Register  of  Deeds  for  two  years;  in    1854  was   elected 

276  .        PEN  PICTURES 

the  first  Cit}*  Clerk  of  St.  Paul  for  two  years ;  chosen  City 
Comptroller  in  1857,  which  office  he  soon  resigned;  was  again 
appointed  Deputy  Clerk  of  the  District  Court  of  Ramsey  County 
from  1863  to  1865  ;  in  1866  was  elected  Clerk  of  the  Supreme 
Court  of  the  State,  holding  that  office  byre-election  three  terms  ; 
has  been  Grand  Secretary  and  Grand  Treasurer  of  the  I.  O.  O.  F. 
of  the  State  of  Minnesota  for  some  ten  years  ;  has  been  a  Di- 
rector in  the  St.  Paul  Building  Association,  the  first  organization 
of  the  kind  in  this  State  ;  also  one  of  the  incorporators  and  a 
member  of  the  board  of  trustees  of  the  Minnesota  O.  F.  M.  B. 
Society,  from  its  organization  in  1870,  for  many  years  thereafter; 
in  1 876  commenced  the  book  and  stationery  business  and  has 
been  engaged  in  it  ever  since. 

Mr.  Hough  has  been  a  great  Odd  Fellow  all  his  life,  and 
has  filled  many  offices  of  honor  and  of  trust  in  that  society.  He 
is  a  man  of  ordinary  size,  quiet  in  his  manners,  very  attentive  to 
business,  and  much  devoted  to  his  family.  An  unfortunate  dis- 
ability in  the  use  of  one  limb  prevents  him  from  mingling  much 
with  his  fellow-men,  and  yet  he  is  social  and  pleasant  to  all  who 
know  him,  and  is  a  quiet  cititizen. 

L.    E.    REED. 

Mr.  Reed  was  born  in  Massachusetts  in  1830;  removed  to 
Ohio  when  three  years  old  :  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  went  to 
Long  Prairie  with  a  missionary,  where  he  worked  on  the  gov- 
ernment farm;  in  the  fall  of  1851  walked  the  whole  distance 
from  Long  Prairie  to  St.  Paul,  or  140  miles;  taught  school 
about  fifteen  miles  north  of  Freeport;  returned  to  St.  Paul  in 
1852  ;  hired  out  to  a  carpenter  to  do  rough  work. 


His  first  duty  was  to  build  a  fence  around  Gov.  Ramsey's 
lot.  He  went  at  it  but  in  driving  the  nails  broke  every  other 
one,  which  attracted  the  attention  of  the  Governor,  who,  on 
appearing  before  young  Reed  told  him  that  he  was  destroying 
more  nails  than  his  day's  wages  came  to. 

"Well,"  said  Reed,  "these  nails  are  not  good." 
"Yes  they  are,"  said  the  Governor,  "but  you  don't  know 
how  to  drive  them." 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  277 

"  But  these  nails  came  from  Pittsburg,  and  they  are  not 
worth  a  tinker's  snap." 

''  Oh-ho  !  young  man,"  said  the  Governor,  "  these  nails  are 
good,  but  you  don't  strike  them  right.  Give  me  the  hammer  ; 
I'm  an  old  cabinet-maker,  and  I'll  show  you  how  to  driv^e  nails," 
and  the  Governor  drove  every  nail  without  a  break,  to  the  utter 
astonishment  of  Reed. 

"  Now,  young  man,"  said  the  Governor,  *'  what  have  you 
been  in  the  habit  of  doing  ?  " 

"Well,"  said  Reed,  "I  have  been  working  on  a  farm/'  his 
face  longer  than  the  board  he  was  trying  to  adjust  on  the  rail  of 
the  fence. 

"  Take  this  order,"  said  the  Governor ;  '*  go  out  to  my  farm 
near  Lake  Como  ;  go  to  work  and  I  will  pay  you  $;^$  per  month," 
and  Mr.  Reed  did  so. 



Here  Mr.  Reed  drove  the  first  reaping  machine  ever  in  the 
State  of  Minnesota,  and  as  four  horses  were  attached  to  it  he  was 
prouder  then  than  at  any  other  period  of  his  life.  Jus  Ramsey 
had  an  ugly  horse  that  could  not  be  used,  but  Reed  put  a  Span- 
ish bit  on  him,  hitched  him  in  with  the  others,  and  he  worked 
thereafter  as  docile  as  a  child.  Indeed  the  horse  and  the 
machine  were  great  curiosities  and  many  visited  the  field  to  see 
the  animal  and  to  observe  the  machine  cut  the  grain,  not  only 
that  of  the  Governor's  but  of  the  neighbors'  at  large. 

While  at  Long  Prairie  one  night,  the  Indians  stole  two 
horses.  Reed  went  in  pursuit  of  them  and  coming  up  with  the 
thieves  sought  to  get  back  the  stolen  animals,  when  one  of  the 
Indians  fired  his  pistol  at  him  and  the  powder  flew  into  Reed's 
face.  Nothing  daunted  he  knocked  the  Indian  down,  secured 
his  pistol  and  its  paraphernalia,  and  was  about  moving  away 
when  another  Indian  knocked  him  dow^i.  Recovering  himself 
he  seized  the  horses  and  mounting  his  own,  started  on  a  full 
gallop,  when  all  of  a  sudden  the  animal  he  was  riding  gav^e  a 
jump  and  he  discovered  an  Indian  lying  by  the  way-side  who,  as 
he  passed,  had  tried  to  seize  his  legs,  but  Reed  eluded  him  and 
came  into  camp  triumphantly.  After  that  he  became  a  great 
favorite  with  the  red  men,  and  on  one  occasion  they  dressed  him 


up  as  a  brave,  put  rings  on  his  wrists,  painted  his  face  and  greatly 
honored  him  as  a  Big  Indian  Chief. 


On  the  Fourth  of  July,  1852,  it  was  agreed  that  the  best  way 
to  celebrate  the  day  was  to  entertain  strangers  at  the  residences 
of  citizens,  so  J.  \V.  Bass  took  twenty,  somebody  else  ten,  and 
Deacon  Cavender  ten.  Among  those  who  went  with  Cavender 
was  Reed.  Fifteen  years  afterwards  Reed  ran  for  Alderman  in 
the  same  ward  in  which  Cavender  lived,  and  finding  out  that 
Cavender  was  about  to  vote  against  him,  Reed  addressed  him  as 
follows : 

"  Cavender,  you  are  not  going  to  vote  against  me  ?  " 

"  Yes,  I  am." 

"  But  you  wouldn't  vote  against  a  friend  you  once  enter- 
tained at  dinner  ?  " 

"  You  never  took  dinner  with  me." 

"  Yes,  I  did." 

"  Prove  it  and  I  will  vote  for  you,"  said  Cavender,  and  Reed 
did  prove  it,  even  telling  him  what  they  had  for  dinner  fifteen 
}ears  before. 

'*  Give  me  your  hand  and  a  ticket,"  said  Cavender,  "  I'll  vote 
for  you  for  an}'  office  you  may  run  for  as  long  as  I  live,"  and  he 
did,  only  regretting  that  he  could  not  do  the  same  favor  to  the 
other  nine  who  sat  down  to  his  hospitable  table  on  the  Fourth 
of  July,  1852. 


Young  Reed  drifted  back  to  Illinois  in  1852  and  taught 
school  where  he  had  been  the  year  before,  and  then  on  his  way 
out  to  St.  Paul  he  stopped  at  a  small  town  ;  bought  a  farm  with 
a  crop  on  it ;  cleared  ^$7,000  ;  married  a  well-to-do  young  lady  ; 
traveled  south  ;  came  back  to  St.  Paul;  loaned  out  about 38,000; 
crash  came  in  1857  ;  lost  it  all  ;  was  aided  by  Mr.  P'.dgerton  to 
get  on  to  his  feet  again  ;  became  a  street  broker  ;  paddled  along 
for  three  \'ears  ;  had  his  ups  and  downs  ;  was  Alderman  eight 
years  and  president  of  the  Council  one  term  ;  became  engaged  in 
the  banking  business  with  the  Thompson  Brothers,  as  far  back 
as  1862;  then  with  the  First  National   Bank  in  1863,  with  which 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  279 

institution  he  was  connected  several  years,  and  in  1873  became 
its  vice-president ;  was  once  a  partner  of  William  Dawson,  the 
firm  being  Dawson  &  Company,  and  continued  such  for  four 
years ;  was  vice-president  of  the  City  Bank  three  years,  and  is 
now  president  of  the  Capital  Bank  of  this  city.  Mr.  Reed  has 
been  in  the  banking  business  twenty-five  years. 

SOME    REAL    ESTATE REED    AS    I    SEE    HIM. 

In  1852  Mr.  Reed  purchased  a  lot  on  Wabasha  street 
adjoining  the  Market,  for  which  he  paid  ^400;  sold  for  $4,000; 
worth  $15,000;  fifteen  years  ago  he  bought  two  lots  and  a  house 
on  the  corner  of  Sibley  and  Sixth  streets,  for  which  he  paid 
$5,000;  worth  now  $50,000;  in  185 1  one  lot  on  Fifth  street  for 
$225  ;  now  worth  $20,000.  These  are  onl}'  a  few  items  of  his 
real  estate  transactions. 

Mr.  Reed  is  a  fine-looking  man,  with  a  well-developed  head 
and  a  clear,  black  eye.  He  is  very  deliberate  in  his  speech, 
thinks  before  he  gives  utterance  to  his  thoughts,  and  is  quite  an 
impressional  conversationalist.  He  takes  to  banking  naturally  ; 
looks  upon  money  as  a  tangibility,  the  same  as  real  estate  or 
other  property,  and  acting  upon  this  basis  makes  his  calculations. 
He  is  far-seeing  in  his  movements,  and  yet  very  cautious — is 
pretty  sure  when  he  moves  to  move  right.  He  is  quiet ;  never 
rants ;  is  self-poised  ;  pleasant ;  and  yet  when  animated  he  draws 
down  his  mouth  in  a  peculiar  way  which  belongs  only  to  Mr. 
Reed.  He  never  forgets  his  friends.  He  gives  quietly  but  with 
discrimination,  and  is  a  first-class  citizen.  In  all  matters  of 
finance  his  advice  is  generally  sought  and  his  opinion  is  greatly 
esteemed.  Mr.  Reed's  gradual  ascent  from  a  farm  boy  to  that 
of  a  successful  banker,  is  full  of  good  lessons  for  the  young,  and 
this  little  yet  interesting  sketch  of  his  life  ought  to  leave  an  excel- 
lent impression. 


Mr.  Marvin  was  born  in  England  in  1817,  and  is  now  the 
only  surviving  member  of  a  large  family.  Descended  on  the 
mother's  side  from  Scottish  covenanters  and  on  the  father's  from 
a  line  of  English  non-conformists,  the  principles  of  civil  and 
religious  liberty  became  an  ingrained  sentiment  with  him  in  his 


early  boyhood,  and  he  shared  in  and  to  this  day  remembers  the  • 
exciting  times  of  CathoHc  emancipation  and  the  first  Reform  bill. 
His  education  was  chiefly  receiv^ed  in  a  classical  boarding" 
school  in  his  native  town  taught  by  Rev.  James  Buckham.  He 
was  taken  away  from  school  in  his  fourteenth  year  against  the 
protest  of  his  tutor,  and  just  when  he  had  become  intensel}-  inter- 
ested. His  old  tutor  is  still  living  and  in  good  possession  of  his 
faculties^  in  his  ninety-first  year,  and  scholar  and  teacher  still 
correspond  with  each  other. 


In  1837,  at  twenty  years  of  age,  Mr.  M.  was  married  to- 
Hannah,  daughter  of  Mr.  Charles  Reading,  deceased,  of  War- 
wick, England.  Residing  after  their  marriage  for  some  time  in 
Henley,  in  Arden,  in  Warwickshire,  they  removed  to  Leam- 
ington in  the  same  county,  where  they  lived  for  some  seven  years. 
They  came  to  Cincinnati  in  the  spring  of  1845,  ^^^^  M^"-  ^^• 
remembers  well  a  visit  he  made  to  Professor  Stowe,  at  Lane 
Seminary,  and  where  he  had  the  pleasure  of  dining  with  him  and 
his  since  celebrated  wife.  The  Professor  had  just  returned  from 
England,  and  he  spoke  of  points  of  interest  so  numerous  in  the 
locality  fr6m  which  Mr.  M.  came,  Warwick  Castle  especially, 
that  it  brought  up  many  scenes  of  by-gone  days.  It  was  stated 
that  the  Earl  of  Warwick's  rent  roll  was  some  ^^40,000  per  year, 
and  yet  he  was  poor.  Mrs.  Stowe,  turning  to  her  husband  said — 
"  You  see  you  are  not  the  only  poor  man  in  the  world."  After 
remaining  in  Cincinnati  some  six  years  and  having  gone  through 
two  very  severe  cholera  seasons,  he  decided  to  come  to  St.  Paul,. 
and  arrived  here  in  185  i.  His  advent  in  St.  Paul  was  very  for- 
tunate;  his  health  had  been  broken;  but  here  he  found  an  entire 
change  and  the  commencement  of  a  career  of  health  such  as  he 
had  not  known  for  years. 

attempt    at   farming — BUSINESS. 

In  the  first  season  he  made  an  attempt  at  farming  on  a  place 
of  123  acres,  which  he  had  purchased  for  a  small  sum  on  the 
west  side  of  Phelen's  lake.  Being  a  novice  at  the  business  he 
discontinued  it  and  rented  a  few  acres  of  it  for  some  years  to  a 

OF  ST,  PA  UL,  MINN.  281 

tenant.     He  continued  to  be  the  owner   of  the  same  place  for 
twenty-foLir  years. 

In  the  fall  of  1851  Mr.  M.  leased  a  lot  on  Third  street  on 
which  the  First  National  Bank  building  was  erected  some  years 
later.  He  put  up  a  building  upon  it  and  opened  a  retail  china 
and  glassware  store.  In  1855  he  erected  a  brick  building  on 
Third  street  (which  is  still  standing,  and  which  has  been  occu- 
pied till  a  short  time  ago  by  McGee's  restaurant,)  and  in  this  he 
carried  on  his  business  for  several  years.  He  subsequently  mo\'ed 
into  the  building  once  occupied  by  Wm.  Lee's  wholesale  dry- 
goods  house,  previously  to  which  his  son  had  entered  into  part- 
nership with  him. 


Some  years  before  the  spring  of  1857,  ^^-  ^-  had  taken  a 
trip  to  England  for  the  double  purpose  of  visiting  old  scenes  and 
associations  and  establishing  a  direct  trade  with  the  Staffordshire 
potteries.  He  purchased  what  was  then  accounted  a  large  stock, 
some  sixty  crates  of  ware ;  shipped  via  New  Orleans  to  St.  Paul 
under  bond.  After  his  return  from  England  came  on  the  terri- 
ble financial  revulsion  of  1857,  which  cost  him  nearly  all  he  was 
worth,  yet  straitened  as  he  was  he  continued  to  import  and  his 
credit  remained  unimpaired  with  his  English  correspondents,  and 
in  the  meantime  his  trade  had  become  mainly  a  jobbing  business. 
The  war  which  subsequently  came  on  put  a  bar  on  importation, 
and  was  the  cause  of  great  loss  to  him. 

The  real  estate  which  he  had  purchased  at  an  early  day  is 
now  worth  some  sixty  or  seventy  thousand  dollars.  He  is  now 
in  his  sixty-ninth  year  and  has  gone  through  mental  experiences 
which  have  bankrupted  his  courage. 


Mr.  Marvin  was  elected  Alderman  of  the  city  at  its  first 
municipal  election  ;  has  been  for  thirty-three  years  an  elder  in 
the  Presbyterian  Church;  in  1875  was  made  treasurer  of  Oak- 
land Cemetery  Association,  of  which  he  had  previously  been  a 
trustee,  which  position  he  has  filled  acceptably  and  successfully 
for  nine  years,  and  has  the  gratification  of  seeing  the  cemetery 


which  has  been  for  many  years  very  sacred  to  him,  increasingly 
beautiful  and  faithfully  guarded  from  vandal  desecration. 

Mr.  M.  has  been  married  forty-seven  years  and  the  wife  of 
his  youth  is  still  the  companion  of  his  age.  His  children,  four 
in  number,  one-half  of  his  original  family,  are  all  married,  and 
live  in  St.  Paul.  They  and  their  children  form  a  valued  and 
affectionate  circle  where  he  finds  a  pleasant  and  ever-recurring 

MARVIN    AS    A    MAN. 

He  is  quick,  earnest,  sensitive,  active,  honorable,  honest, 
religious  ;  was  an  unflinching,  outspoken  anti-slavery  man  when 
it  was  very  unpopular  to  be  so,  and  lives  more  in  the  past  and  in 
the  future,  than  in  the  present.  He  has  a  highly  poetical  tem- 
perament, and  has  produced  some  fine  poetry,  of  which  the  fol- 
lowing is  an  extract  of  some  thirteen  hundred  lines  written  some 
three  years  ago : 

"  The  heart  its  own  bitterness  truly  may  know, 
Yet  knows  not  its  share  in  the  causes  of  woe; 
Man  hides  from  himself  in  dust  of  the  fight, 
And  oft  in  the  wrong  will  deem  himself  right; 
Will  parry  and  thrust  with  passion  for  guide, 
'Till  truth  shall  fold  pinion  and  stoop  to  his  pride. 

*'  There  shall  be  a  day  when  to  know  and  be  known. 
And  problems  now  dark  shall  all  be  his  own; 
From  thence,  looking  back  on  the  drama  of  life, 
Amazed,  he  shall  glance  o'er  its  causes  of  strife, 
When  fools  had  wrought  folly,  and  wise  men  had  smiled, 
And  echoed  the  folly,  by  folly  beguiled." 

H.    L.    MOSS. 

Mr.  Moss  was  born  in  New  York  in  1819;  graduated  at 
Union  College  in  1840;  studied  law  and  admitted  to  practice  in 
1842;  removed  to  Wisconsin  and  resided  there  several  years, 
when,  in  1848  he  moved  to  Stillwater;  was  appointed  United 
States  District  Attorney  in  1849  for  the  Territory  of  Minnesota, 
and  held  the  office  four  years;  removed  to  St.  Paul  in  1851, 
where  he  has  resided  ever  since  ;  in  1863  he  was  again  appointed 
United  States  District  Attorney,  and  held  that  position  up  to 
1868,  since  which  time  he  has  been  engaged  in  the  insurance 
business.     Mr.  Moss  aided  in  the  organization  of  the  Territory 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  283 

and  rendered  valuable  services  at  Washington  in  getting  through 
our  land-grant  bills. 

MOSS    AS    A    MAN. 

Mr.  Moss  is  a  fleshy,  easy,  good-natured,  pleasant  gentleman, 
and  by  industry  has  built  up  a  large  and  profitable  insurance 
business.  In  early  years  he  was  disposed  to  speculate  in  new 
towns  with  Messrs.  Freeborn  &  Daniels,  but  of  late  years  has 
eiven  his  attention  almost  exclusiveh'  to  his  business.  He  is 
quiet,  undemonstrative,  and  yet  when  drawn  out  in  conversation 
is  a  good  talker,  and  when  somewhat  animated,  rolls  his  eyes  up 
towards  you  in  a  very  peculiar  manner.  He  is  deliberate  in  his 
movements  ;  quiet  in  his  every-day  life  ;  but  still  is  always  busy 
doing  something.  He  believes  in  the  doctrine  that  one  can  get 
through  the  world  fast  enough  without  hurrying,  and  in  this  he 
is  right.  Some  men  are  like  little  dogs,  constant!)'  running  about 
to  catch  something  and  never  succeeding,  while  other  men  move 
right  along  and  accomplish  a  good  deal.  Mr.  Moss  enjoys  about 
as  much  of  life  as  most  men,  and  is  respected  and  esteemed  for 
his  many  good  qualities. 

p.    W.    NICHOLS. 

Among  the  first  churches  the  writer  attended  soon  after 
bringing  back  to  St.  Paul  a  wife  from  Albany,  N.  Y.,  in  1857, 
was  **  the  little  church  around  the  corner  "  of  Ninth  and  Tem- 
perance streets,  which  was  erected  in  1858.  It  was  the  first 
Congregational  Church  in  St.  Paul,  and  its  organization  was 
due  chiefly  to  the  faith  and  puritan  zeal  of  Deacon  P.  W. 

Mr.  Nichols  was  born  in  Massachusetts  in  1806,  and  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1851  in  search  of  health.  He  was  a  retiring,  un- 
assuming man  of  more  than  ordinary  intellectual  ability.  He 
laid  foundations  for  the  advancement  of  the  human  family  in 
many  quiet  ways,  but  it  was  in  organizing  and  fostering  Plymouth 
Church  that  his  influence  in  moulding  the  life  of  the  young  city 
was  chiefly  felt.  He  died  in  1863.  Mrs.  Nichols  survived  him 
nearly  twenty  years,  and  passed  away  in  1883,  beloved  b}'  all 
who  knew  her,  a  most  beautiful  example  of  a  serene  Christian 
old  age. 


Their  son  and  daughter  live  in  St.  Paul.  Miss  Kate 
Nichols  is  a  young  lady  of  superior  ability,  while  her  brother  is 
a  quiet,  honest,  unassuming  man. 


Major  Spencer  (who  justly  derives  his  title  from  being  In- 
dian agent,)  was  born  in  Kentucky  in  1832  ;  educated  at  Ashburs' 
Academy  in  Indiana ;  clerked  in  a  hardware  store  at  Terrc 
Haute;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  was  engaged  by  A.  L.  Lar- 
penteur  for  eight  years,  and  as  Larpenteur's  trade  was  mostly 
with  the  red  men,  here  he  became  intimateh'  acquainted  with 
the  Indians,  their  language,  their  mode  of  living,  and  here  he 
made  a  friendship  with  Chaska,  (oldest  son  or  first  born,)  who 
subsequently  sa\cd  his  life  ;  was  once  partner  with  Major  Forbes, 
who  did  a  general  Indian  business  at  a  trading  post  on  the  west 
side  of  Big  Stone  lake;  was  there  until  just  before  the  breaking 
out  of  the  Indian  massacre  in  1862  ;  was  at  this  time  at  the  Red 
Wood  agency  procuring  supplies,  and  having  made  his  purchases 
was  getting  ready  to  go  home,  when  he  noticed  a  number  of  In- 
dians in  town  who  appeared  to  be  on  the  war-path  ;  didn't  suspect 
anything  wrong  ;  didn't  apprehend  an)-  danger;  was  standing  in 
the  door  of  Maj.  Forbes'  store,  when  he  observed  that  the  Indians 
were  surrounding  all  the  buildings,  but  his  fears  were  dispelled 
when  they  told  him  that  they  were  in  search  of  Chippewas  who 
had  been  seen  in  that  vicinity  only  a  few  days  before. 


While  thus  looking  unsuspectingly  upon  the  scene,  the  Amer- 
ican colors  on  P^orbes'  flag-staff  were  run  up,  as  they  usually  were 
every  morning,  (and  as  it  appeared  afterward,  this  was  the  signal 
for  the  Indians  to  commence  the  fight,)  when  instantly  from  four 
to  five  hundred  Indians  opened  fire  upon  ever}^body  and  everv- 
thing  within  their  reach,  and  the  whites  fell  in  every  direction. 
Spencer  was  hit  in  the  right  arm.  then  in  the  breast,  the  ball 
striking  a  rib  and  glancing  off;  then  in  the  abdomen,  tearing 
open  the  flesh  and  making  a  frightful  wound.  He  staggered  to 
the  stairs,  closed  the  door  after  him  and  barred  it,  crawled  up  t<^ 
the  floor  and  threw  himself  upon  a  bed,  while  below  he  could 
hear  the  crack  of  the  Indian  rifles,  the  horrible  yells  of  the  war- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  2Sr> 


riors  and  the  groans  of  the  dying.  All  was  in  a  terrible  state 
of  confusion.  In  the  room  in  which  he  lay  were  guns  and  am- 
munition, and  this  the  Indians  knew,  so  they  dared  not  venture  as 
they  were  well  aware  that  Spencer  could  dispute  the  passage  of 
the  stairway,  and  they  knew  he  had  weapons  to  do  it  with. 


While  lying  upon  the  bed  conscious  that  his  time  had  come 
to  die,  he  heard  a  thumping  at  the  door,  and  recognizing  the  voice 
of  Chaska — with  whom  he  had  fished  and  hunted  when  mere 
boys  together — Spencer  got  up  and  though  very  weak,  descended 
the  stairs,  opened  the  door  and  then  went  back  to  his  bed. 
Chaska  came  up,  approached  the  bed  ;  asked  him  if  he  were 
much  hurt;  if  he  thought  he  would  live,  and  putting  his  arm 
about  him  conducted  him  down  stairs,  where  they  confronted  a 
gang  of  Indians  who  were  panting  for  his  blood.  Chaska  in- 
stantly threw  himself  in  front  of  his  friend,  exclaiming — "  I  will 
save  this  man's  life,  and  whoever  hurts  him,  hurts  me;  stand 
back  ! "  And  notwithstanding  he  was  the  head  warrior  of  Little 
Crowd's  band,  and  a  man  of  great  influence  with  the  tribe,  yet  so 
terribly  excited  were  the  Indians  that  one  of  them  snapped  his 
gun  at  Spencer  twice,  but  fortunately  it  did  not  go  off;  and  then 
another  Indian  made  for -him  with  a  fixed  determination  to  kill 
him,  but  Chaska  drew  his  tomahawk,  and  in  a  minute  more 
would  have  slain  the  assailant,  but  he  and  others  being  afraid 
withdrew,  and  Spencer  and  his  friends  made  for  the  grass,  when 
he  was  again  set  upon  by  an  Indian  who  informed  Chaska  that 
it  was  well  understood  that  not  a  white  person  was  to  be  saved, 
but  Chaska  replied — "  This  man  is  my  friend  and  he  shall  live, 
so  be  gone,"  and  fearing  instant  death,  as  he  well  knew  the  de- 
termined character  of  Chaska,  he  left  to  carry  on  his  murderous 
career  somewhere  else. 


Spencer  lay  in  the  grass  in  pain,  when  Ta-ti,  Chaska's  wife, 
and  another  squaw  made  their  appearance,  and  they  were  in- 
structed to  remain  with  him  and  care  for  him  until  Chaska  could 
get  a  horse  and  wagon  to  convey  him  to  his  tepee.  While  the 
women   were   bending,  over   him   they  were   discovered  by  the 


Indians  who  again  wanted  to  kill  him,  but  the  squaws  saved  his 
life.  And  then,  as  he  lay  there,  writhing  in  intense  agony,  he 
was  attacked  with  an  insatiable  thirst  for  water,  and  he  made  up 
his  mind  that  he  might  as  well  die  from  the  bullets  of  the  Indians 
as  from  the  internal  fire  which  was  consuming  him,  so  he  broke 
away  from  the  squaws  and  with  great  effort  made  for  a  house 
near  by,  where  the  Indians  had  driven  a  poor  settler  up  into  his 
loft,  and  were  then  trying  to  kill  him.  Spencer  passed  right  by 
these  Indians  who  were  watching  the  man  to  get  a  shot  at  him  : 
saw  a  pail  filled  with  water,  seized  the  dipper,  and  after  emptying' 
it  twice,  came  out  of  the  house  as  he  went  in  with  a  dipper  of 
water  in  his  hand  unmolested,  the  Indians  no  doubt  thinking,  from 
the  blood  they  saw,  that  he  would  soon  die.  Chaska  made  his 
appearance  with  a  one-horse  wagon  ;  loaded  it  out  of  the  goods 
taken  from  Forbes'  store,  and  on  top  of  the  tepee  cloth  thus 
obtained,  placed  Spencer,  and  at  the  end  of  four  miles  landed 
him  in  the  lodge  of  his  necarniss,  or  best  friend.  When  about 
two  miles  on  the  way  another  body  of  Indians  met  them  and 
wanted  to  kill  Spencer,  but  Chaska  fought  them  off.  Then  again 
during  the  time  he  was  in  the  tent  of  Chaska  many  sought  his 
life,  especially  after  some  Indian  had  been  killed  by  the  whites, 
but  silent,  solemn,  sullen,  determined,  Chaska  sat  with  his  gun 
in  his  hand,  ready  to  kill  the  first  man  who  entered  his  tepee 
door.  And  thus  poor  Spencer  was  nursed  and  tenderly  cared 
for  for  six  weeks  and  then  delivered  to  Gen.  Sibley  safely,  by  this 
noble  Indian,  who  had  shown  undaunted  courage  and  unpar- 
alleled devotion  to  his  friend.  It  is  sad  to  think  that  Chaska 
was  subsequently  poisoned  while  on  the  Indian  expedition,  either 
purposely  or  accidentally,  and  his  bones  now  lie  on  the  great 
plains  of  Dakota,  but  one  can  never  forget  him  or  his  memory, 
and  that  one  is — Major  George  H.  Spencer. 


Major  Spencer  was  chief  clerk  of  the  subsistence  depart- 
ment of  Gen.  Sibley's  expedition.  He  was  appointed  Indian 
Agent  b\^  T^resident  Garfield  for  the  Yanktonnais  Sioux  in  1881,. 
and  was  afterwards  reappointed  by  President  Arthur,  but  was 
legislated  out  of  office  in  consequence  of  the  consolidation  of 
one  agency  with  another,  after  having  held,  his  position  one  year. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.       '  2 ST 

During  his  term  of  office  he  was  honest,  faithful,  a  good  friend 
of  the  Indians  and  an  excellent  officer  of  the  government,  leav- 
ing no  unsettled  or  ambiguous  accounts  behind  him  when  he 
retired  to  private  life. 

While  Major  Spencer  concedes  that  he  has  had  some  good 
Indians  among  his  acquaintances,  yet  he  admits  that  there  are 
also  some  bad  ones.  As  an  illustration,  on  one  occasion  he  gave 
credit  to  an  Indian  in  the  shape  of  traps,  powder,  shot,  pro- 
visions, etc.,  to  enable  him  to  prosecute  his  hunt.  He  made  a 
good  catch  that  season  of  furs,  but  instead  of  paying  Spencer 
what  he  owed  him,  he  took  his  furs  to  Fort  Abercrombie  and 
traded  them  off  for  whisky.  When  he  returned  he  was  up- 
braided in  rather  strong  language  for  his  conduct,  which  offended 
him.  Soon  after  Spencer  had  occasion  to  drink  from  a  pail  of 
water  standing  near  by,  and  noticing  a  peculiar  taste  and  being 
a  little  suspicious,  he  permitted  two  cats  to  drink  out  of  the  same 
water,  when  they  both  died  from  convulsions  in  a  few  minutes. 
He  had  a  heavy  mustache  which  saved  his  life,  for  he  picked 
poison  enough  out  of  it  afterwards  to  have  killed  a  dozen  men, 
for  it  acted  as  a  strainer  and  caught  the  deleterious  drug.  He 
learned  subsequently  that  this  Indian  managed  to  empty  the  con- 
tents of  a  bottle  of  strychnine  into  the  water  pail,  in  hopes  to 
kill  Spencer  for  reprimanding  him  for  his  conduct. 

Again,  another  Indian  fired  his  store-house  because  he 
couldn't  get  credit,  but  the  fire  was  subdued  before  any  great 
damage  was  done.  It  was  no  uncommon  thing  to  find  arrows 
sticking  into  his  horses,  the  work  of  some  devilish  Indian  because 
foiled  in  his  efforts  to  get  goods. 


Personally  Spencer  is  of  medium  height,  very  quiet  in  his 
ways,  cool  in  his  temperament,  undemonstrative,  a  good  book- 
keeper, honest  and  \ery  courageous,  as  many  incidents  in  his 
life  show.  While  laying  no  claims  to  literary  ability,  yet  he  is  a 
great  admirer  of  literary  merit,  and  had  he  been  differently  edu- 
cated in  early  life,  he  might  have  made  his  mark  as  a  literary 
man.  He  is  modest  and  retiring,  and  shines  only  best  when 
among  his  friends,  the  outer  world  knowing  but  little  of  the 
intrinsic  merit  of  the  inner  man. 


"  D N    THE    LAND  !  " 

In  early  days  an  old  settler  had  succeeded  in  getting 
together  a  good  many  acres  of  land,  but  as  times  grew  bad 
he  found  it  quite  difficult  to  raise  money  with  which  to  pay 
taxes;  indeed  he  could  not  pay  his  taxes.  One  day  after  imbib- 
ing pretty  freely,  he  soliloquized  to  himself  as  follows : 

"  Columbus  discovered  America !  Yes,  Columbus  thought 
he  was  smart ;  he  found  more  land  than  he  could  use.  D — n 
Columbus ! 

"  Isabella  sent  Columbus  to  discover  America  ;  hadn't  got 
land  enough;  oh,  no!  wanted  all  the  dirt  she  could  get,  of 
course!     D — n  Isabella! 

"  Then  that  old  fool  of  a  husband  of  Isabella,  the  King  of 
Spain,  hadn't  sense  enough  to  see  that  the  land  he  was  grabbing 
would  put  him  in  the  poor  house  !  Oh,  no  ;  he  knew  it  all ;  he 
was  a  western  land  speculator,  and  so  America  was  discovered. 
D — n  the  King! 

"  And  then  another  confounded  fool  of  a  man  came  to  this 
country  and  scraped  up  4,000  acres  of  land,  and  thought  he  was 
a  Vanderbilt,  and  now  he  can't  pay  his  taxes  !  D — n  the  land ; 
I  don't  want  it;  I  won't  have  it!  D — n  the  country!  D — n 
Isabella  and  the  King  !     D — n  Columbus  !  " 

And  the  poor  fellow  wandered  off  to  drown  his  sorrow  in 
the  flow^ing  bowl,  while  other  old  settlers  significantly  shook  their 
heads  and  whispered — "  A  little  off,  but  he's  about  right." 


This  year  a  party  visited  White  Bear  Lake  and  examined 
its  surroundings.  The  land  about  it  was  then  subject  to  entr)', 
or  could  be  bought  for  ;s$i.25  per  acre;  worth  now  several  thou- 
sand dollars  per  acre. 

F.    A.    RENZ. 

Mr.  Renz  was  born  in  1825,  in  a  town  near  Baden-Baden, 
in  Germany ;  arrived  at  New  York  in  i  CS46 ;  drifted  to  North 
Enfield,  New  Hampshire,  where  he  commenced  blasting  out  stone 
for  a  railroad  company;  next  was  in  the  employ  of  the  I^oston 
water-works  and  was  discharged  without  pa}- ;  during  his  first 
winter  in  this  country  he  labored  for  a  farmer  at  Rutland,  Massa- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MIXN.  2S9 

•chusetts,  where  he  received  his  board ;  returned  to  New  York 
City  in  1847,  ^^^^  ^^''^^  employed  for  four  years  in  a  wholesale 
importing  house  of  French  China  and  glassware  ;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  185 1,  it  taking  a  month  to  make  the  journey,  while  now 
you  can  make  it  in  less  than  a  week  ;  here  he  engaged  with  a 
surveying  party  under  Lieut.  J.  H.  Simpson  (late  General  Simp- 
son,) to  survey  a  Territorial  road  from  Point  Douglas  to  Fort 
Ripley ;  all  above  St.  Anthony  was  then  a  wilderness  ;  returned 
to  St.  Paul  and  engaged  in  the  confectionery  and  fancy  goods 
business,  and  was  the  first  candy  maker  in  the  State  ;  disposed  of 
his  business  in  1857,  ^^^^  went  to  Kansas;  invested  some  money 
there;  lost  it;  went  to  Europe  that  year ;  returned  in  1858  and 
commenced  farming  in  Carv^er  County,  on  a  claim  he  made  in 
1852,  where  he  remained  five  years;  returned  to  St.  Paul  in 
1865  and  became  a  partner  with  George  Benz,  but  sold  out  the 
same  year  to  Major  Becht ;  then  purchased  Benzberg's  brewery 
and  distillery,  which  burned  down  and  he  lost  everything,  besides 
leaving  him  in  debt  $2,000  and  carrying  with  the  disaster  two 
houses  and  two  lots,  which  would  have  been  very  \aluable  now. 
The  debt,  however,  was  all  paid  with  interest,  Mr.  Renz  earning 
the  money  as  United  States  Ganger,  and  he  is  now  out  of  most 
of  his  troubles  and  is  in  a  comfortable  condition. 


Mr.  Renz  paid  ;^700  for  a  lot  where  Dr.  Day's  hotel  now 
stands,  on  the  corner  of  Third  and  Cedar  streets,  which  he  sub- 
sequently sold  for  $6,000;  now  worth  $30,000;  he  owned  a 
house  and  lot  on  Dayton  avenue,  and  one  on  the  corner  of 
PvXchange  and  vSeventh  streets,  which  were  absorbed  in  his  brew- 
ery speculation,  now  very  valuable;  he  also  purchased  several 
acres  on  Summit  avenue,  which  have  greatly  advanced  in  price 
the  past  two  years. 

When  in  Carv^er  County  he  was  Chairman  of  the  Super- 
visors of  the  township  of  Chanhausen ;  was  elected  justice  of 
the  peace ;  was  three  times  member  of  the  Legislature ;  was 
Register  of  the  United  States  Land  Ofifice  at  Henderson,  appointed 
by  President  Lincoln  in  1861  ;  was  elected  City  Treasurer  by  the 
City  Council  of  St.  Paul  to  fill  a  vacancy,  July,  1873,  and  held 



the  office  to  June,  1882;  was  Superintendent  and  Secretary  of 
the  St.  Paul  work-house,  but  has  recently  resij^ned. 

Mr.  Renz  is  a  quiet,  industrious  gentleman,  and  has  toiled 
hard  to  get  where  he  is  financially  to-day.  He  has  seen  a  good 
many  ups  and  downs,  but  has  surmounted  all  his  trouble,  and  is- 
now  enjoying  perhaps  as  much  of  life's  pleasures  as  most  men. 
He  is  active,  positive,  tenacious,  undaunted,  and  as  superintend- 
ent of  the  v/ork-house  filled  admirably  an  important  position  tO' 
which  his  talents  fit  him.  He  is  a  man  of  ordinary  size  ;  a  little 
bent  in  the  shoulders  and  moves  along  about  his  business  in  an 
energetic  manner.  He  is  a  good  man  and  a  useful  citizen,  and 
his  career  is  a  striking  illustration  of  what  one  can  accomplish 
by  pluck,  energy,  industry  and  perseverance. 


The  old  Winslow  House  which  used  to  stand  on  the  corner 
of  Seventh  and  Third  streets,  and  which  was  erected  by  James 
M.  Winslow,  w^as  commenced  this  year,  fhc  writer  was  at  the 
opening  of  this  house  when  completed  in  T853,  ^^^^^  partook  of 
the  first  meal.  It  was  kept  by  Mr.  Deuel,  and  under  it  was  a 
bank,  a  drug  store,  and  the  first  railroad  ticket  office  in  the  Terri- 
tory, run  by  a  Captain  George,  long  since  dead.  In  front  of  it 
bubbled  up  a  stream  of  spring  water.  In  its  day  it  w^as  a  popular 
hotel,  but  like  some  fourteen  other  buildings  of  this  character,  it 
burned  down  in  the  year  1862.  Capt.  George,  and  Ward,  and 
Rich,  and  Billy  Snell,  and  some  of  the  Deuel  family,  and  man\- 
others,  once  the  occupants  and  attaches  of  this  house,  are  dead  ! 
And  thus  moves  on  the  world,  obliterating  the  land-marks  of  the 
past,  and  bringing  to  view^  new  faces  in  place  of  the  old  ones 
which  are  gone  forever! 


The  old  brick  Cathedral  now  standing  on  Wabasha  street,, 
was  completed  this  year,  and  it  was  a  great  event,  not  only  for 
the  Catholic  Church,  but  for  the  city  itself  It  answered  the 
purposes  for  which  it  was  built  until  the  present  stone  Cathedral 
took  its  place. 

Politicians  will  remember  the  days  of  the  Whig  party  when 
Henry  Clay  was  its  idol  and  Daniel  Webster  the  great  expounder 

OF  ST.  PAUL,   MINN.  201 

of  its  principles.  They  will  remember  later  along  of  "  Tippecanoe 
and  Tyler  too,"  and  then  of  the  death  of  the  party  and  the  in- 
coming of  the  great  Republican  organization  which  remained  in 
power  twenty-five  years.  Looking  back  over  a  quarter  of  a 
century  one  can  see  many  changes,  and  among  them  the  fact 
that  in  1851,  thirty-four^  years  ago,  the  WccJdy  Minncsotian,  a 
Whig  organ,  was  started  in  this  city  by  John  P.  Owens,  John  C. 
Terry  being  publisher.  In  those  days  men  were  more  personal 
than  now,  and  as  a  result,  growing  out  of  political  attacks, 
Owens  had  several  assaults  thrust  upon  him,  but  he  outlived 
them,  entered  the  Republican  party,  fought  its  battles  for  years 
and  died  in  1884. 

R.  C.  Knox,  over  six  feet  tall  and  now  a  resident  of  either 
Montana  or  Colorado,  started  a  movement  for  a  hook  and  ladder 
company  in  1851,  which  was  successful,  and  from  this  beginning 
has  grown  our  present  fire  department.  Five  of  the  ladders  then 
in  use  were  subsequently  owned  by  the  old  Pioneer  Hook  and 
Ladder  Company,  and  did  good  service  for  many  years. 


Mr.  Hoffman  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1831  ;  received  a 
common  school  education;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  was  en- 
gaged two  years  with  John  R.  Irvine  in  running  a  saw  mill ; 
worked  for  D.  L.  J^\iller  three  years;  tool:  ch:irgo  of  Win.  L. 
Ames'  mill,  which  stood  at  the  foot  of  Dayton's  bluff,  and  ran  it 
for  some  time ;  then  entered  a  grocery  store  one  year  ;  rented 
the  store  and  continued  the  business  up  to  1873  ;  was  appointed 
State  Inspector  of  Oil,  and  held  the  office  seven  years  ;  was 
Alderman  for  six  years,  and  is  now  engaged  partly  in  looking  to 
his  own  business  and  that  of  C.  D.  GilfiUan. 

Mr.  Hoffman  as  a  man  is  of  good  size  physically,  and  pos- 
sesses a  well-developed  brain  ;  very  quiet  in  his  ways,  and  unob- 
trusive in  his  manner.  He  has  pulled  through  all  the  financial 
crashes,  and  though  not  immensely  rich  yet  he  is  comfortably 
well  off;  has  paid  every  dollar  of  his  debts,  and  of  course  is  a 
happy  man,  for  nothing  conduces  so  much  to  one's  real  hap- 
piness as  the  fact  that  he  is  out  of  debt  with  a  small  income  to 
support  life.     Happy  man  ! 



Born  in  New  York  State  in  1825  ;  labored  on  a  farm  until 
sixteen  years  old  ;  learned  the  hatter's  trade ;  worked  in  various 
places  throughout  the  country;  studied  law  in  New  York  City; 
was  the  original  young  man  in  1841  whom  Horace  Greeley  ad- 
vised "to  go  west ; "  made  a  claim  in  Illinois;  sold  the  land  for 
;^ii  per  acre;  now  worth  ;^ioo  per  acre;  was  in  the  Western 
Reserve  College,  Ohio,  three  years;  was  in  Chicago  in  1846, 
where  he  worked  at  his  trade;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ; 
studied  law  with  Rice,  HoUinshead  &  Becker;  was  admitted  to 
the  bar  and  practiced  law  in  the  Territory  and  State  ;  was  clerk  of 
the  House  of  Representatives  in  1852-3  ;  was  the  first  man  who 
enlisted  in  Company  A  Seventh  Regiment;  served  all  through 
the  war  and  was  in  nearly  every  battle;  was  never  off  duty  a  day 
for  sickness  or  otherwise,  until  after  the  siege  and  taking  of  Mo- 
bile, Spanish  Fort  and  Fort  Blakely,  Alabama,  and  on  the  last 
march  from  these  battles  and  victories  he  was  stricken  down 
insensible  by  a  sun-stroke,  was  conveyed  to  a  hospital  and  sub- 
sequently discharged.  He  received  a  back  pension  of  ;^8,ooo, 
and  now  receives  $72  per  month. 


Mr.  Ford  made  the  first  claim  and  built  the  first  house  and 
ploughed  the  first  field  and  was  the  first  settler  in  the  original 
narrow  limits  of  the  village  of  Northfield  ;  he  was  the  original 
political  ring  smasher  in  the  Territory  ;  was  the  original  Blaine 
man  in  Rice  County ;  was  a  correspondent  of  the  St.  Paul  Daily 
Times ;  also  correspondent  of  P^astern  papers,  etc.,  etc.,  and  did 
considerable  in  early  days  to  induce  emigrants  to  come  to  Min- 
nesota. He  was  sick  for  several  years  after  his  sun-stroke  in  the 
army,  when  he  partially  recovered,  and  is  now  and  has  been  for 
some  time  living  in  Northfield,  Minnesota,  carr}-ing  on  farming. 

Mr.  P^ord  is  a  man  of  decided  ability  and  force  of  character  ; 
active,  intelligent,  industrious,  pushing,  but  ill-health  has  greatly 
marred  a  somewhat  eventful  life.  He  enjoys  a  good  pension 
from  the  government  ,  has  a  nice  farm,  and  is  well  satisfied  with 
his  present  prospects,  as  well  lie  ma}-  be,  as  he  can  truly  exclaim 
with  Shakespeare — "  All's  well  that  ends  well." 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  293 


George  Irvine  is  a  brother  of  the  late  well-known  John  R. 
Irvine,  and  was  born  in  New  York  in  1815  ;  received  a  common 
school  education  ;  learned  the  trade  of  a  tanner  and  currier  ;  car- 
ried on  business  in  Pennsylvania  and  Cincinnati ;  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1851  ;  commenced  his  career  here  by  hoeing  a  patch  of 
four  or  five  acres  of  potatoes  where  College  avenue  now  is ;  to- 
gether with  his  brother  John,  framed  the  old  saw  mill  which 
stood  near  the  upper  levee  and  which  was  run  for  years  ;  and 
following  this  the  brothers  juirchased  a  stock  of  groceries  and 
provisions  at  St.  Louis  and  opened  a  store  as  partners  in  a  build- 
ing on  Third  street  where  the  Empire  block  used  to  stand,  and 
continued  this  business  up  to  1853,  when,  in  1854  they  built  the 
warehouse  on  the  upper  levee  and  opened  a  forwarding  and  com- 
mission trade,  which  they  carried  on  for  a  year ;  moved  their 
stock  to  a  building  corner  of  Exchange  and  Third  streets,  which 
building  was  erected  in  1848.  In  1855  Mr.  Irvine  constructed 
the  brick  dwelling  on  Pleasant  avenue,  now  owned  by  Dr.  Bris- 


Mr.  Irvine  being  a  tanner  induced  Kessler  &  Rhiel  to  open 
the  first  leather  store  in  this  city,  and  he  became  one  of  the  part- 
ners. The  store  was  in  the  old  Rice  House,  on  upper  Third 
street,  and  here  they  carried  on  a  leather,  hides  and  finding  busi- 
ness, and  it  yielded  a  good  profit.  He  left  the  concern  in  1856, 
and  in  1857  opened  a  grocery  store  which  he  ran  up  to  1861  ; 
in  1864  he  became  a  policeman  and  continued  one  year,  when 
he  opened  a  boarding  house,  and  later  carried  on  the  Arcade  on 
Robert  street  for  a  little  over  three  years  and  a  half;  went  to 
California  in  1873  ;  was  in  Colorado  a  year;  in  New  York  and 
Boston  in  1875;  returned  to  St.  Paul  in  1876  and  the  same 
year  became  connected  with  the  Merchants  hotel,  and  has  been 
there  in  various  positions  ever  since. 

Mr.  Irvine  did  not  procure  a  great  deal  of  real  estate  in  the 
early  days,  as  his  brother  John  used  to  tell  him  he  had  enough 
for  himself  and  all  his  brothers,  but  he  purchased  two  lots  on 
Pleasant  avenue,  for  which  he  paid  $500;  worth  now  ;^20,ooo; 
two  lots  on  College  avenue,  cost  $400;    sold  for  $1000,  worth 


330,000.     And,   singular  as  it  may  appear,  this  is  tiie  extent  of" 
his  real  estate  transactions. 

GEORGE    AS    HE    IS. 

Mr.  Irvine  is  now  close  to  seventy  years.  His  hair  is  white 
and  he  stoops  a  little,  and  yet  he  is  as  vigorous  as  many  men  at 
fifty,  lie  has  had  a  peculiar  and  checkered  life;  was  not  born 
with  a  golden  spoon  in  his  mouth  ;  has  found  it  prett}'  hard  to 
even  get  a  silver  one  ;  "  has  boxed  the  compass  ;  "  has  flown  to 
"  ills  he  knew  not  of;"  has  fought  life's  battle  fiercely;  has  been 
imposed  upon,  and  yet  he  is  quiet,  philosophical,  pleasant,  step- 
ping carefully  down  the  decline  that  leads  to  the  final  end,  and 
is  quite  willing  to  cross  the  little  bridge  to  the  other  shore. 

THEN    AND    xNOW. 

In  1 85 1  400  Indians  were  engaged  gathering  cranberries 
out  at  Rice  lake,  only  a  few  miles  from  St.  Paul,  and  in  the  fall 
of  this  year  twenty-five  bears  were  killed  at  the  same  place.  It 
was  a  common  thing  to  see  fifty  Indians  in  the  town  at  one  time. 
Now  no  Indians  can  be  seen  ;  no  bears  are  visible ;  population 
has  set  in,  and  where  these  elements  of  barbarism  existed,  are 
farms,  railroads,  towns,  cities,  civilization.  The  undertow  of  the 
wave  of  immi«;ration  could  thus  earlv  be  heard  rumbling  from  the 
East,  and  on  it  came,  sweeping  back  the  Indians  and  opening  a 
new  light  into  the  dark  recesses  of  a  forest  of  a  comparatively 
unexplored  and  an  undeveloped  region. 


Judge  Cooley,  by  which  name  he  is  more  generalh'  known, 
is  one  of  the  familiar  personages  of  the  past  in  the  cit}'  of  St. 
Paul,  a  sort  of  index  board  marking  the  years  long  since  gone; 
and  although  the  younger  portion  (^f  the  communit}-  ma\-  not 
know  liim,  the  old  settlers  can  soon  pick  liim  out  of  the  jostling 
crowds  that  swarm  our  sidewalks.  l-Jorn  m  the  State  of  New 
York  in  1824,  he  received  a  thorough  education,  and  after  the 
study  of  law  for  five  years,  at  the  age  of  twenty-one  he  passed 
a  searching  examination  by  the  late  Charles  O.  Connor,  of  New 
York  city,  and  \\as  admitted  to  the  bar  of  the  Supreme  Court  of 

OF  ST.  PAUir,  MINN.  295 

that  State.     He  subsequently  removed  South,  and  in  1851  came 
.to  St.  Paul  for  the  benefit  of  his  health. 


Soon  after  his  arrival  here  he  was  made  Town  Attorney 
(there  was  then  no  city,)  and  became  City  Attorney  when  the 
town  assumed  that  dignity.  He  was  also  elected  Attorney  for 
Ramsey  County,  and  held  both  offices  simultaneously.  He  was 
.sole  commissioner  to  draft  and  revise  the  first  ordinances  adopted 
by  the  new  city;  was  also  the  first  Pension  Agent  in  Minnesota. 
After  practicing  law  in  this  city  up  to  1 864,  he  removed  to  Wilkes- 
barre,  Penn.,  but  at  the  expiration  of  ten  years  returned  to  St. 
Paul,  where  he  has  remained  almost  uninterruptedly  ever  since. 

Judge   Cooley  possesses   peculiar   talents   as   a    writer,   his 
principal  forte  being  fun  and  sarcasm,  and  yet  he  prepared  a  most 
useful  index  digest  of  the  tax  laws  of  Minnesota,  which  not  only 
received  the  sanction  of  the  State,  but  elicited    high   commenda- 
tion from  the  bench  and  the  bar.    He  is  well  known  as  the  origi- 
nator and  promoter  of  the  Third  House  of   Representatives  of 
the  State ;   that  is,  many  citizens  came  together    voluntarily  and 
went  through  the  formality  of  organizing  the  Third  House,  and 
then  listening  to  the  reading  of  the  Governor's  message,  which 
was  usually  written  by  Cooley,  many  times   ridiculing  men  and 
measures  and  parties,  but  more  generally  it  was  a  take-off  on 
the  genuine  Legislature  then  in  session  at  the  Capitol.     In  these 
papers  Judge  Cooly  showed  point,  fun,  sarcasm,  sense  and  non- 
sense.     He  also   later  delivered  a  lecture  on    "  Old  Settlers,"  in 
which  he  endeavored  to  bring  out  their  weak  points  and  yet  in 
.a  manner  not  to  offend.      He  has  also   written   some  dramatic 
•  compositions  as  well  as  verse;  and  quite  recently  has  compiled  a 
book,  but  upon  what  particular  subject  the  public  are   not  yet 
advised.     He  dealt  but  little  in  real  estate,  but  at  one  time  owned 
a  fine  piece  of  property  on  the  old  St.  Anthony  road,  but  after 
the  death  of  his  wife,  sold  it.     His  domestic  afflictions  have  been 
very  sad. 

AS    HE    IS. 

Judge  Cooley  is  a  short,  thick-set  man,  with  strong  features 
and  hair  silvered  with  gray,  with  a  well-poised  head  and  a  firm 


step.  His  nature  runs  to  fun  as  naturally  as  the  duck  seeks  the 
water,  and  in  conversation  he  usually  brings  out  the  amusing 
part  of  life.  He  is  always  good-natured,  and  when  interested 
in  conversation  picks  his  left  hand  with  his  right  finger  nail,  and 
this  motion  is  intensified  as  the  conversation  grows  more  earnest. 
He  is  quite  unassuming ;  is  not  in  love  with  the  law  sufficiently 
to  practice  a  great  deal,  but  devotes  most  of  his  time  to  literary 
pursuits,  and  when  he  gets  into  the  proper  groove — if  he  ever 
does — the  public  will  stop  and  examine  his  merits. 


Mr.  Donaldson  was  born  of  English  parents,  in  Ohio,  in 
1825;  lived  on  his  father's  farm  until  eighteen  years  old,  when 
he  went  to  Cincinnati  to  become  acquainted  with  the  practical 
working  of  business  ;  came  to  St,  Paul  in  1851  and  formed  a 
partnership  with  J.  D.  Pollock,  and  this  firm  has  existed  from 
that  day  to  this,  or  thirty-four  years,  being  the  oldest  firm  in  the 
city,  although  Wm.  Constans  individually  has  been  the  longest 
continuously  in  business  here. 

Mr.  Donaldson  early  identified  himself  with  the  fire  depart- 
ment of  this  city ;  indeed  he  was  among  the  very  first,  and  re- 
mained with  it  as  an  active  member  until  it  passed  out  of  the 
hands  of  the  volunteer  members  into  the  control  of  the  city. 
While  performing  his  duties  a.s  a  fireman  he  was  injured,  and 
remained  disabled  for  some  time.  Although  Mr.  Donaldson  did 
not  enter  the  army  he  contributed  toward  the  support  of  the  go\'- 
ernment  during  the  war,  and  by  strict  attention  to  business  has 
secured  a  comfortable  property.  Married  a  Miss  Thorne  in  1 873  ;, 
has  two  children. 

In  1 85 1,  in  connection  with  Mr.  Pollock,  his  partner,  Mr.. 
Donaldson  purchased  four  lots  on  the  corner  of  Broadway  and 
Fifth  streets,  for  Si 00.  He  sold  some  of  them  for  $1,700.  and 
the  balance  for  $20,000.  He  bought  thirty  acres  on  the  shores 
of  Lake  Phelan  for  $125,  worth  now  $5,000;  secured  two  five- 
acre  lots  in  Hoyt's  addition  for  $1 00;  sold  for  $3,000;  worth 
now  $  1 2,000. 


Mr.  Donaldson  is  a  ta,ll,  slender  gentleman,  unpretentious,. 
cool,  cautious,  methodical,  and  honest.     He  and  his  partner  have- 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINX.  297 

worked  harmoniously  in  the  same  harness  for  thirt}'-four  years, 
and  during  that  period  have  passed  through  some  very  depress- 
ing times,  and  yet  they  have  withstood  the  financial  storms  and 
have  the  honor — and  it  is  an  enviable  one — of  being  the  oldest 
firm  in  the  city.  Mr.  Donaldson  was  about  twenty-six  years  old 
when  he  came  here ;  then  a  young  man  with  no  gray  hairs  or 
wrinkles ;  now  he  is  on  the  shady  side  of  life  and  prefers  the  old 
rocking-chair  to  the  merry  jingle  of  hilarity  in  the  ball-room. 
Possessing  a  handsome  house  and  surrounded  with  all  the  com- 
forts vouchsafed  to  man,  very  few  enjoy  to  a  greater  degree  the 
family  circle  than  Mr.  Donaldson  ;  and  thus  in  declining  years 
he  has  become  mellowed  with  contentment  and  is  satisfied  w  ith 
a  life  well  spent. 


A  small,  delicate,  slender,  exceedingly  pleasant  young  man, 
then  only  twenty  years  old,  came  to  St.  Paul  thirty -four  years 
ago,  and  who  does  not  remember  him  ?  His  pleasant  smile,  his 
affable  manners,  his  genial  ways,  how  like  warm  rays  of  sunshine 
they  come  back  and  knock  at  the  door  of  memory!  The  li.tle 
slender  youth  has  grown  into  manhood  now  and  has  filled  out 
physically  into  fine  proportions,  has  passed  the  meridian  of  life, 
is  stepping  down  into  the  valley  of  old  age,  but  the  geniality  of 
the  past  is  still  there,  the  old  smile  is  still  there;  the  old  warm  and 
generous  heart  is  still  there,  the  sincere  real  man  is  still  there. 

William  S.  Combs  was  born  in  the  city  of  New  York  in 
1 83 1  ;  was  educated  at  the  public  schools  of  that  city;  removed 
to  Kentucky  in  1843;  resided  in  Lexington  five  years;  in  St. 
Louis  in  1848,  and  located  in  St.  Paul  in  1851,  opening  a  book 
and  stationery  store  in  the  fall  of  that  \^ear ;  broke  his  leg  ^\•hen 
at  St.  Louis  purchasing  goods  ;  returned  to  St.  Paul  ;  sold  out 
and  kept  books  in  the  winter  of  185 1-2  at  Mendota  lor  Gen. 
Sibley;  married  Miss  Carrie  White,  May  10,  1852,  while  at 
Oxford,  Ohio ;  took  an  active  part  in  the  public  schools  and 
served  as  president  of  the  Board  of  Pklucation  as  well  as  secretary 
for  many  years  ;  and  as  chairman  of  the  building  committee  ga\-e 
his  personal  attention  to  the  erection  of  some  of  the  largest  and 
most  expensive  school  buildings  in  the  city,  among  which  were 
the  Jefferson,  Madison  and  Lincoln,  and  was  connected  witli  the 


school  board   over  sixteen  years,  giving   his  time  freely  to  the 
public  good  to  the  detriment  of  his  legitimate  business. 


In  early  days  a  body  of  men  associated  themselves  together 
to  protect  each  other  in  holding  their  claims,  and  of  this  body  of 
men  H.  M.  Rice  was  president,  and  William  S.  Combs  was  sec- 
retary. Very  often  it  happened  that  a  valuable  claim  would  be 
taken  possession  of  by  some  interloper,  and  then  the  power  of 
the  association  was  called  in  to  evict  him.  On  one  occasion  a 
man  and  his  family  had  erected  a  shanty  on  the  claim  owned  by 
a  Dr.  Bid  well,  of  this  city,  and  as  he  would  not  go  off  the  mem- 
bers of  the  association  met  and  commenced  tearing  down  the 
building.  When  the  shanty  had  become  nearly  divested  of  its 
outer  covering,  Dominick  Troyer,  a  large  and  powerful  man. 
seized  the  uprights  that  supported  the  roof,  and  then  he  gave  the 
man  and  his  family  fair  warning  that  if  they  did  not  get  out^in 
three  minutes  he  would  let  the  roof  down  upon  their  heads,  and 
seeing  that  he  meant  business,  they  "  got,"  and  Bidwell  again 
took  possession  of  his  claim. 


While  Mr.  Combs  was  carrying  on  his  book  business  in  a 
building  on  Third  street,  next  to  the  old  Times  office,  he  divided 
off  a  little  room  in  the  back  part  of  his  store,  and  there  intro- 
duced penmanship  and  book-keeping,  the  first  of  the  kind  ever 
taught  in  Minnesota.  He  was  an  industrious  and  ambitious 
young  man,  and  filled  up  the  time  in  this  way  to  advance  his 
pecuniary  interests. 

Mr.  Combs  is  a  member  of  Ancient  Landmark  Lodge,  No. 
5  ;  Minnesota  Royal  Arch  Chapter,  No.  i  ;  St.  Paul  Council  of 
R.  and  S.  M. ;  all  of  the  Scottish  Rite  bodies,  to  the  thirtieth 
degree  ;  served  the  Grand  Lodge  as  its  grand  secretary  from  1 866 
to  1 877  ;  and  the  Grand  Royal  Arch  Chapter  as  grand  secretar}' 
from  1867  to  1877;  was  M.  P.  G.  M.  of  the  Grand  Council  for  a 

He  was  an  active  member  of  the  first  Board  of  Trade  and  its 
secretary  for  several  years.  When  the  Chamber  of  Commerce 
was  formed  he  was  an  active  member  of  that  body  for  several 

OF  ST,  PA  UL,  MINN.  299 

years.     He  was  also  an  early  member  of  the  Pioneer  Guards,  the 
first  military  company  in  the  State. 

Mr.  Combs  did  not  deal  much  in  real  estate,  but  he  purchased 
in  1853  eighty  acres  of  land  near  what  is  now  known  as  Post's 
Siding,  for  5700 ;  at  present  worth  ^80,000.  Of  course  like  all 
the  rest  of  the  old  settlers  he  let  it  go  for  just  what  it  cost  him. 
It  is  the  old  story ;   I  need  not  repeat  it. 

THE    REAL    MAX. 

For  thirty  odd  years  I  have  known  Mr.  Combs  quite  inti- 
mately, and  have  always  found  him  an  agreeable  and  pleasant 
gentleman.  His  sunny  nature  has  never  left  him  and  clings  to 
him  even  now.  His  early  history  West  is  full  of  romance,  and 
very  few  could  pass  through  the  many  trials  he  encountered 
when  a  mere  boy,  without  greatly  marring  even  a  less  perfect 
disposition  than  that  which  is  owned  by  Mr.  Combs,  and  yet  he 
is  as  genial  to-day  as  he  was  over  a  quarter  of  a  century  ago. 
A  fine  looking  man,  straight,  commanding,  with  a  frank,  free, 
open  countenance,  he  wins  his  way  among  his  fellow-men,  and 
though  not  blessed  with  a  superabundance  of  this  world's  goods, 
yet  he  scatters  pearls  of  sunshine  wherever  he  goes,  and  thus  I 
leave  him — "  the  noblest  Roman  of  them  all." 


**  Backward,  turn  backward,  O  time  in  your  flight. 
Make  me  a  chikl  again  just  for  to-night! 
Mother,  come  hack  from  the  echoless  shore, 
Take  me  again  to  your  heart  as  of  yore. 
Kiss  from  my  forehead  the  furrows  of  care, 
Smooth  the  few  silver  threads  out  of  my  hair; 
Over  my  slumbers  your  loving  watch  keep — 
Rock  me  to  sleep,  mother — rock  me  to  sleep." 


Capt.  Stees  was  born  in  Dauphin,  Pennsylvania,  in  1834; 
came  to  St.  Paul  in  185  i.  He  was  three  weeks  on  the  way  from 
his  native  place  to  this  city,  while  the  trip  can  now  be  made  in 
less  than  three  days.  This  year  (1851,)  the  river  was  high,  the 
water  coming  up  to  William  Constans'  warehouse  steps. 

Hearing  of  the  Indian  treaty  going  on  at  Mendota,  he 
remained  on  the  boat  and  went  up  there.     Here  thousands  of 


Dacotahs  or  Sioux  had  assembled  to  make  a  treaty  with  United 
States  Commissioner  Luke  Lea  and  Gov.  Ramsey  ;  the  bluffs  and 
surrounding  hills  were  covered  with  Indian  tepees,  while  chiefs, 
^  braves,  warriors,  squaws,  pappooses  and  dogs  crowded  around 
Sibley's  trading  post  and  young  Stees'  heart  beat  with  wondrous 
and  admiring  excitement,  he  being  just  from  school  and  full  of 
Fennimore  Cooper's  romantic  ideas  of  the  noble  red  man  of  the 
forest,  but  subsequent  events  served  to  change  his  sentiments  in 
regard  to  the  *'  Redskins."  for  eleven  years  later — during  the 
Sioux  massacre  of  1862 — he  had  an  opportunity  to  face  these 
same  redskins  in  battle  and  assisted  in  capturing  man\'  of  them 
and  recapturing  a  large  number  of  white  women  and  children 
and  one  white  man,  who  were  held  as  prisoners  b\'  them.  Some 
of  the  braves  made  very  fine  speeches,  were  very  eloquent  and 
graceful  in  their  oratory,  and  had  a  very  happ\-,  don't-carative- 
ness  manner  of  speaking  some  wholesome  truths  which  the  com- 
missioners were  not  delighted  to  hear.  The  whole  scene  was  a 
picture  never  to  be  forgotten. 


As  a  boy,  fresh  from  Philadelphia,  Capt.  Stees  was  not  favor- 
ably impressed  with  St.  Paul  as  a  village,  ^\■ith  its  board  shanties 
and  less  numerous  frame  houses.  West  St.  Paul  was  then  a 
forest  of  fine  tall  trees,  the  grass  was  green  along  Third  street, 
and  he  gathered  hazel  nuts  corner  Third  and  Minnesota.  An  old 
log  barn  belonging  to  the  Catholic  mission,  stood  where  the  Pio- 
neer Press  stands  now.  The  stable  of  the  Central  House  stood 
where  Mannheimer's  block  now  is,  and  Bill  Taylor's  barber  shop 
and  Bass'  post  office  occupied  a  one-story  frame  about  where 
Schleik's  shoe  store  is.  The  Fremont  House,  with  its  pet  bear, 
stood  on  a  "  pretty  bench  "  overlooking  a  beautiful  view  of  the 
river,  and  there  was  a  magnificent  promenade  along  the  bluff 
facing  the  Mississippi,  from  Jackson  to  Wabasha  street,  which 
Col.  Goodhue  always  advocated  should  be  reserved  by  the  city 
as  a  boulevard.  Had  his  wishes  been  carried  out  St.  Paul  would 
possess  to-day  a  front  view  which  for  a  promenade  and  beauty  of 
scenery  would  be  unsurpassed  on  this  continent.  The  writer 
earnestly  advocated  the  preservation  of  this  same  boulevard  in 

OF  ST.  FA  UL,  MIXX.  301 

1854,  but  cupidity  overrode  sagacity,  and  the   opportunity  has 
now  probably  gone  forever. 


Across  Third  street,  below  Cedar,  about  where  Boerineer's 
store  is,  there  was  a  ledge  of  rocks  out  of  which  a  constant  ooz- 
ing and  dripping  of  water  came,  making  the  walking  muddy  and 
disagreeable  for  the  ladies,  so  the  McCloud  Brothers  furnished 
the  necessary  lumber  in  the  shape  of  empty  hardware  boxes, 
and  R.  West  McCloud,  Ike  Markley  and  C.  J.  Stees  laid  the  first 
sidewalk  in  St.  Paul,  from  Minnesota  street  on  Third  to  the  foot 
of  this  ledge  of  rocks,  and  the  ladies  were  thus  enabled  to  pass 
dry-shod  over  this  spot  to  the  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill's  brick  church, 
corner  Third  and  Market,  where  it  was  not  an  unusual  sight  to 
see  Indians  march  into  church  their  bells  and  trinkets  jingling 
and  squat  themselves  down  on  the  floor  of  the  aisle  and  listen  to 
the  religious  discourse  of  the  minister.  Baptist  Hill  also  had  its 
little  church — from  which  the  hill  derived  its  name — and  was 
well  attended.  Presley's  little  candy  store  was  a  resort  on  Sun- 
days, especially  by  Indians,  who  would  hang  around  until  Bart 
would  come  out  and  treat  them.  He  would  give  them  a  peck 
of  decayed  apples  and  they  would  invariably  pick  out  the  rotten- 
est  and  ripest  and  enjoy  them  most.  Simpson's  trading  post, 
corner  Third  and  Robert,  and  old  Creek's  log  cabin  back  of  it 
on  the  bluff,  was  also  a  resort.  The  arrival  and  opening  of  Cur- 
ran's  World's  F'air — dry-goods  store — on  the  opposite  corner, 
with  his  daughters  as  lady  clerks,  was  a  social  event  in  St.  Paul 
which  set  the  young  men  in  a  flutter.  Charlie  Cave's  saloon  on 
Third  street,  with  its  walls  painted  full  of  Indian  scenes  and 
Indian  life  was  considered  something  very  grand  in  those  days. 
Signs  out  at  night  denoted  keno  as  being  played  up  stairs,  and 
gambling  was  in  full  blast  open  and  above  board.  On  the  bridge, 
reaching  across  from  the  First  National  Bank  to  the  Gilfillan 
block,  corner  Fourth  and  Jackson  streets,  could  always  be  found 
a  group  of  Sioux  Indians  intently  watching  the  building  of  a 
brick  culvert,  and  they  were  disappointed  and  astonished  at  not 
seeing  the  brick  fall  in  when  the  wooden  supports  were  taken 
out ;    they   could  not  understand  the  philosophy  of  the  arch. 


Here  was  Lot  Moffett's  first  house,  over  which  he  buiit  his  cas- 
tle, the  first  floor  of  the  latter  commencing  where  the  roof  of 
the  former  left  off  Larpenteur's  store,  corner  Third  and  Jack- 
son, was  always  full  of  Indians  selling  their  peltries  and  furs  and 
buying  powder  and  shot,  or  knick-knacks.  Wm.  H.  Forbes' 
trading  post  and  Minnesota  Outfit  was  at  the  foot  of  Third  street, 
corner  of  Jackson,  where  scores  of  Indians  could  always  be  found 
lying  around  on  summer  evenings,  shooting  rats  with  their  bows 
and  arrows  by  twilight.  Tom  Reed's  grocery  store  was  always 
a  resort  for  Jackson,  Jim  Thompson  and  hunters,  trappers  and 
frontiersmen  generally,  who  congregated  there  at  night,  sitting 
on  boxes,  barrels,  etc.,  telling  yarns  by  the  light  of  a  tallow  dip 
of  hunting,  trapping,  fighting  Indians  and  hair-breadth  escapes. 
On  one  occasion  one  of  them  purchased  a  violin  and  among 
other  tunes  played  "  Home,  Sweet  Home,"  and  it  brought  tears 
to  the  eyes  of  these  rough  buckskin-shirted  pioneers. 

FIRST    BIG    FIRE    IX    ST.   PAUL. 

The  first  big  fire  in  St.  Paul  vvas  Daniel's  hotel  in  1851,  at 
the  upper  levee;  the  building  had  just  been  finished  and  fur- 
nished but  not  occupied,  and  it  burned  like  a  tinder  box,  and 
there  was  no  fire  apparatus  excepting  some  ladders  and  buckets, 
and  Stees  says  his  shoulder  was  very  sore  from  carrying  the 
former  until  big  Tom  Knox  stopped  a  farmer's  team  and  im- 
pressed it  by  turning  the  horses  around  and  loading  up  the  lad- 
ders. He  says  that  the  Rev.  E.  D.  Neill's  fine  broadcloth  suit 
was  no  drawback  to  his  duty  as  a  citizen  at  a  fire,  for  he  worked 
like  a  Trojan  carrying  out  the  furniture.  Tom  Knox,  Bart 
Presley  and  Wash  .Stees  were  three  of  the  muscular  fire  laddies 
of  those  days.  About  this  time,  with  Ike  Markley  and  others, 
young  Stees  made  a  pre-emption  claim  on  thj  bluff,  on  the  west 
side  of  the  river  opposite  the  Presbyterian  Church.  They 
together  put  up  a  log  shanty,  provisioned  it,  and  hired  a  man  to 
hold  possession,  although  the  treaty  had  not  yet  been  ratified. 
Such  a  claim  would  now  be  worth  $150,000. 

The  high  steps  running  from  the  lower  levee  to  the  top  (^f 
the  bluff,  was  always  a  rjsort  for  the  young  men  of  the  village  on 
Sunday  afternoons,  and  on  one  occasion  a  party  had  assembled 
there  when  a  Winnebago  Indian  came  along  and  by  his  accou- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  303 

trements,  etc.,  he  was  reco<4nizcd  as  a  courier  to  the  Indian  vil- 
lage opposite.  Ned  West,  a  dissipated  young  fellow  from  New 
York,  and  *'  half-shot,"  stopped  the  Indian  and  accosted  him, 
but  the  latter  took  no  notice  of  him  and  seemed  anxious  to  pass 
by,  but^Ned  stood  in  his  way  and  continued  to  jabber  Dacotah  to 
him.  The  Winnebago  would  not  answer  but  passed  him,  when 
Ned  gave  the  Chippewa  war-whoop,  and  the  former  flew  down 
the  stairs  like  a  deer  and  out  upon  the  ice,  when  he  stopped  and 
examined  the  priming  of  his  rifle,  while  the  boys  on  the  steps 
began  to  look  for  shelter.  Seeing  his  gun  all  right  he  started  on 
the  run  as  before,  and  in  two  minutes  the  western  shores 
resounded  with  war-whoops  and  yells  from  Little  Crow's  band, 
who  had  heard  Ned's  war-whoop  and  thought  some  of  their 
friends  in  danger.  It  caused  some  merriment,  but  it  was  a  dan- 
gerous joke.  Jimmy  Peck,  a  paper-hanger  from  New  York, 
came  here  to  make  his  fortune,  but  he  was  in  advance  of  the 
times.  If  people  had  a  roof  over  their,  heads  they  were  satisfied 
and  desired  no  such  luxury  as  paper  on  their  walls.  Jimmy  was 
unfortunate,  but  could  work  at  nothing  else.  He  was  homesick, 
but  had  no  money  to  get  away,  so  in  his  distress  he  confic  ed  his 
troubles  to  Charlie  Stees,  who  borrowed  a  loaf  of  home-made 
bread,  some  clieese  and  cold  meat  from  Mrs.  W.  M,  Stees — 
unknown  to  her — a  canoe  from  an  Indian  in  like  manner,  and 
Jimmy  was  sent  floating  down  the  river  homeward  bound,  late 
at  night,  on  his  w^ay  rejoicing.  He  was  a  good  fellow  only  ahead 
of  the  times. 


Little  Crow's  band  frequently  came  to  town  and  indulged  in 
various  dances  in  front  of  the  trading  posts  they  bartered 
skins,  furs  and  pelts  and  traded  generally,  and  on  such  occasions 
the  traders  invariably  made  them  presents  of  calico,  tobacco,  etc. 
Twice  a  year  they  came  to  these  posts  on  a  begging  expedition 
and  danced  the  beggar  dance,  which  was  very  amusing  to  witness  ; 
they  were  in  a  nearly  nude  condition,  with  their  bodies  daubed 
with  blue  earth,  indicating  their  poverty,  and  they  presented  a 
hideous  appearance.  They  formed  in  a  circle  and  danced  in 
front  of  a  store  until  something  was  given  them,  and  some  portl}' 
Indians  looked  very  comical  as  they  jumped  up  and  down,  their 


fat  sides  shaking  like  so  many  porpoises.  'Twas  amusing  to 
witness  the  struggle  between  modesty  and  curiosity  as  evinced 
by  the  ladies  of  St.  Paul  of  those  early  days,  who  were  eager  to 
see  the  spectacle  and  yet  did  not  wish  to  be  recognized,  so  they 
peeped  from  behind  window  curtains,  to  the  amusement  of  the 
male  portion  of  the  community. 


Capt.  Stees  speaks  of  enjoying  New  Year's  day  with  Little 
Crow's  band  fishing  in  the  ice  in  one  of  the  sloughs  where  West 
St.  Paul  now  stands.  The  Indian  mode  of  fishing  in  winter  is 
to  cut  three  holes  in  the  ice  two  feet  square,  at  an  equal  distance 
from  the  shores.  This  is  repeated  several  times  about  every  one 
hundred  yards,  and  at  each  of  these  holes  is  placed  a  squaw  with 
a  hickory  switch  with  three  hooks  attached  at  the  end  She 
kneels  down  at  the  hole  and  throws  her  blanket  over  her  head 
and  the  hole  so  as  to  exclude  the  lic;ht  and  she  can  then  see 
plainly  into  the  water.  After  the  squaws  have  taken  their  posi- 
tions at  the  holes,  say  thirty  or  forty,  the  entire  band  go  down 
the  banks  a  quarter  of  a  mile  below  the  first  set  of  holes,  and 
come  on  to  the  ice  each  provided  with  a  heavy  club  similar  to  a 
street-paver,  and  pound  on  the  ice  while  moving  toward  the  holes, 
at  the  same  time  they  dance,  sing  and  yell  most  vociferously, 
making  the  most  frightful  noise  imaginable,  pertaining  more  to 
the  infernal  regions  than  to  mother  earth.  With  all  this  hideous 
music  they  approach  the  openings  in  the  ice,  and  of  course  the 
fish  are  frightened  and  rush  along  until  they  come  to  the  holes, 
when,  seeing  the  light,  they  make  a  pause  and  become  huddled 
up  together  in  a  mass.  Now  is  the  time  for  the  squaws,  and  they 
take  advantage  of  the  opportunity  and  whip  the  fish  out  as  rap- 
idly as  a  Chinaman  will  throw  rice  into  his  mouth  with  his  chop 
sticks.  The  fish  that  escape  the  squaws'  hooks  at  the  first  set 
of  holes  are  again  driven  on  by  the  same  musical  band  that 
comes  stamping  after  them  to  the  next  set  of  holes,  where  they 
meet  the  same  fate  as  their  predecessors,  and  so  on  until  the}^ 
have  run  the  entire  gauntlet  and  become  quite  decimated.  Some- 
times over  fifty  fish  are  taken  at  one  passing  at  each  hole.  When 
all  the  holes  are  passed  and  the  Indians  are  not  satisfied  with 
their  success,  they  proceed  around  by  land,  head   the  fish  off. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3/JiSW.  305 

•drive  them  back  and  compel  them  to  run  the  gauntlet  the  second 
time.  Some  of  these  fish  weighed  as  much  as  eighteen  pounds. 
Who  thinks  of  fishing  now  in  West  St.  Paul  except  for  lots  ? 


The  Indian  did  not  seem  to  appreciate  the  value  of  money. 
The  Captain  has  seen  a  party  of  Indians  at  a  payment  receive 
over  ;ssioo  each,  and  then  come  to  St.  Paul  and  spend  every  cent 
of  it  in  less  than  two  hours.  They  would  buy  blankets  and 
strings  of  sleigh-bells  with  which  they  would  cover  their  horse's 
back  with  one  string  and  his  neck  full  with  the  others  and  then 
gallop  around  town  in  grand  triumph,  and  by  night  they  pos- 
sessed neither  horse  nor  blanket,  and  not  even  a  bell.  They  inva- 
riably spent  their  money  foolishly  and  came  into  town  hundreds 
at  a  time  on  horseback,  single  file,  bells  jingling,  fantastically 
dressed  and  painted,  whooping,  yelling,  creating  an  exciting  as 
well  as  ludicrous  sight.  Their  purchases  were  generally  traded 
off  for  whisky,  and  that 's  where  the  bells,  blankets  and  horses 

THE    CHARACTERS    OF    THE    DAY    IN    1 85  I, 

Were  Lott  Moffett,  Judge  Kennedy,  Louis  Robert,  C.  P. 
Lull,  Charlie  Cave,  Joe  Rolette,  Bon.  Syphers,  Ned  West,  Ike 
Markley,  John  P.  Owens,  Jim  Vincent,  Bill  Shelly,  Seisholtz,  Col. 
AIcKenty,  of  "  Broad  Acres,"  Col.  Goodhue,  Sam  Sargent,  Col. 
Burton,  of  the  Central  House;  Jackson,  the  postmaster;  Bill 
Taylor,  the  barber,  who  played  at  all  the  dances  ;  Frank  Collins 
and  French,  the  auctioneers  ;  Nat  Spicer,  the  watchmaker  ;  George 
Reisdorff,  the  drayman  ;  Old  Napoleon  Heitz,  Jim  Thompson, 
the  ferryman ;  Tom  Odell,  with  a  squaw  wife ;  Parson  Wil- 
loughby,  of  the  /Folian  Church  ;  Old  Bets  and  Wooden-legged 
Jim,  her  brother ;  Hock-Washta,  an  old  Indian  eighty  years  of 
age,  who  always  wore  a  plug  hat  full  of  ribbons  and  pieces  of 
calico,  who  was  a  public  pensioner;  Julia,  the  pretty  squaw; 
Popcorn  Johnson,  the  popcorn  vender.  Among  the  prisoners 
taken  at  Camp  Release  was  *'  Old  Bets'  "  mother,  who  afterwards 
died  in  the  squaw  pen  at  Fort  Snelling  in  the  winter  of  1862-3. 


W.  M.  Stees'  furniture  store  where  Capt.  Stees  first  went  to 
work,  was  situated  on  a  French  Catholic  burial   ground,  and  a 


small  picket  fence  was  placed  around  each  grave.  On  the  corner 
of  Third  and  Minnesota  streets,  where  the  present  brick  block  now 
stands,  was  erected  a  shanty  about  20  x  40  feet,  one-story  high  ;, 
the  sides  were  upright  boards  with  a  board  roof,  and  the  rear  of 
the  building  set  on  stilts,  the  front  resting  on  Third  street.  The 
surroundings  were  hazel  bushes,  there  being  no  building  between 
it  and  the  top  of  the  hill,  near  Cedar  street.  Two  dozen  chairs,, 
as  many  bedsteads  and  tables,  were  deemed  a  considerable  stock 
of  furniture.  Six  chairs,  a  bedstead  and  table  was  quite  a  bill  of 
sale  in  those  days.  Selling  a  bureau  was  an  event  worthy  to  be 
talked  about.  Then  thev  made  most  of  their  furniture,  and  the 
bed-posts  were  turned  by  a  turning  lathe  which  was  a  liberal  per- 
spiration-generator and  human  legs  the  motive  power.  He  speaks 
of  taking  a  piece  of  furniture  to  deliver  at  Louis  Olivier's  house, 
somewhere  west  of  Wabasha  and  north  of  Fifth  street  and  came 
near  getting  his  horse  mired  in  the  bog.  At  another  time  he 
was  sent  to  put  up  a  bedstead  for  A.  L.  Larpenteur  and  the  pres- 
ence of  a  pretty  lady  so  embarrassed  him  that  he  sawed  off  the 
slats  entirely  too  short  and  had  to  go  back  after  new  ones.  He 
speaks  of  making  a  "gable  end"  coffin,  with  "split  roof"  and 
working  all  night  in  order  to  have  it  finished  in  time.  The  idea 
of  keeping  ready-made  coffins  on  hand  in  those  days  would  have 
been  deemed  a  sacrilege  and  the  party  doing  so  liable  to  a 


Capt.  Stees  is  the  oldest  undertaker  now  in  the  business  in 
the  State.  He  has  seen  young  ladies  of  St.  Paul  marry,  become 
mothers  and  grandmothers  and  then  bury  some  of  their  children 
and  grandchildren.  His  first  case  was  at  Mendota  and  the  corpse 
Mr.  Frank  Steele's  child.  After  making  the  casket  Wash  and 
he  took  the  same  up  in  a  buggy,  and  half-way  between  here  and 
Fort  Snelling  their  pony  stuck  in  a  swamp  and  the  mosquitoes 
liked  to  eat  them  up,  drawing  blood  every  time  they  presented 
their  bills.  The  second  case  was  that  of  a  young  man  who  froze 
to  death  in  his  cabin  two  and  a  half  miles  from  town.  He  was 
found  with  his  knees  on  the  floor,  his  arms  on  the  bed  and  his 
head  resting  on  his  arms  in  a  praying  posture,  frozen  as  hard  as  a 
rock.     In  this  position  the  body  was  brought  to  an  old  carpenter 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  307 

shop  at  the  bridge,  corner  Fourth  and  Jackson  streets,  where 
Gilfillan  block  now  stands.  Here  an  old  scow  was  procured  and 
filled  half  full  of  water;  then  a  fire  was  built  on  the  ground  floor, 
some  stones  heated  red  hot  and  thrown  into  the  w^ater  to  heat  it 
in  order  to  thaw  out  the  body.  Prior  to  this  word  was  sent  up 
to  come  and  take  the  measure  for  a  coffin.  Tom  Reed  was 
coroner.  Capt.  Stees  went  down  and  asked  where  the  body  w^as. 
One  of  the  men  pointed  to  a  corner  where  an  object  was  con- 
cealed under  a  blanket ;  he  raised  the  blanket  and  there  lay  the 
man  in  a  reversed  position  from  that  in  which  he  was  found  ; 
knees  doubled  up  and  his  arms  crossed  over  his  forehead  and 
eyes  wide  open.  It  was  a  horrible  sight  and  Charlie  was  fright- 
ened and  w^ent  home,  telling  his  brother  Wash  he  had  better  go 
down  and  measure  that  body,  the  recollection  of  which  time  can 
never  efface.  The  deceased  was  an  eccentric  genius  who  planted 
cedar  posts  around  his  claim  and  then  dug  a  two-foot  hole  in 
front  of  each  post  W'hich  he  called  a  witness.  He  had  a  solid 
mahogany  tool  chest  full  of  fine  tools,  which  is  now  in  the  pos- 
session of  a  gentleman  of  this  city.  He  also  had  a  Mexican 
soldier's  land  warrant,  besides  $250  in  gold.  He  left  no  will  and 
no  heirs  appeared  to  claim  his  estate,  and  the  question  suggests 
itself — "  Who  got  his  property  and  his  money  ?  " 


There  were  plenty  of  predictions  in  the  early  da\'s  that  St. 
Paul  would  never  amount  to  anything  as  a  town.  The  channel 
of  the  river  would  be  cleared  to  St.  Anthony  and  that  would 
be  the  "  head  of  navigation."  **  Real  estate  is  too  high  now  " — 
said  these  wiseacres,  when  a  lot  fifty  feet  front  on  Third  street 
sold  for  ^500 — '*  and  there  is  bound  to  be  a  collapse,  the  same  as 
in  Chicago."  Very  little  money  changed  hands  ;  everything  was 
on  the  "  dicker."  The  carpenter  dickered  with  the  stone  mason, 
he  with  the  grocer,  the  latter  with  the  furniture  dealer,  and  they 
all  swapped  around  for  real  estate ;  they  took  and  gave  notes  to 
settle  up  when  the  Indian  payment  came  off.  A  man  came  into 
the  store  and  traded  a  gold  watch  for  furniture,  the  watch  was 
traded  for  real  estate,  and  so  it  passed  around.  Capt.  Stees  paid 
;^I3.50  for  a  lot  in  1851,  rented  that  lot  out  so  that  taxes  and 
assessments  never  cost  him  anything,  and  in  1881  sold  that  lot  for 


;$i,350,  making  large  per  cent,  in  thirty  years,  one  dollar  for  every 
cent  invested.  The  same  property  is  now  worth  eight  times  the 
amount  he  sold  for,  or  some  $io,ooo. 


When  St.  Paul  was  a  village  Philadelphia  and  New  York 
city  were  well  represented  in  its  limited  population,  and  as  a 
sequence  the  New  York  Knickerbockers  and  Pennsylvania  Dutch- 
men liked  sauer-kraut ;  so  in  the  winter  Mrs.  W.  M.  Stees  put 
up  a  large  barrel  of  what  in  those  days — shut  out  from  civiliza- 
tion— was  considered  a  great  delicacy,  and  when  she  opened  the 
barrel  for  use,  "  the  boys  "  were  notified  of  the  fact,  and  they 
came  down  the  hill  regularly  for  their  mess  of  sauer-kraut. 
There  was  more  sociability  then  than  now.  "  Everybody  knew 
everybody,"  and  it  is  refreshing  in  these  degenerate  days  of 
broadcloth  and  plug  hats  and  liveried  coachmen,  to  think  of  the 
genuine  sociability  and  honest  friendship  that  existed  then.  But 
the  jealousy  and  rivalry  existing  between  "  upper  town  and  lower 
town  "  store  keepers,  was  truly  amusing  ;  the  rivalry  between 
St.  Paul  and  Minneapolis  to-day,  as  a  comparison,  is  "  no- 

Every  old  settler  knew  Parson  Willoughby  who  kept  the 
livery  stable  on  the  corner  of  Fourth  and  Robert  streets.  One 
day  a  lightning-rod  man  came  along  and  wanted  to  put  up  rods 
on  Willoughby's  barn.  The  latter  said — "  I've  an  old  hoss  I'll 
give  you  to  put  some  up."  "  Good  enough,"  said  the  man,  and 
to  work  he  went.  In  about  an  hour  Willoughby  went  out  to  see 
how  he  was  getting  along,  when  he  found  he  had  seven  up 
already.  "  For  God's  sake  what  are  you  doing  ?  Do  you  want 
to  tempt  the  ligntning?    Come  down  and  I'll  give  you  the  hoss." 


A  soldier  down  from  the  Fort  on  a  furlough,  came  into  Bill 
Taylor's  barber  shop  to  get  shaved  ;  Bill  was  playing  on  his 
violin  ;  the  soldier  gave  him  half-a-dollar  for  the  privilege  of 
dancing  ten  minutes  in  his  shop  while  he  played  ;  the  offer  was 
accepted  and  the  son  of  Mars  danced  away  to  his  own  delight 
and  that  of  the  bystanders,  and  departed  seemingly  happ)*  and 
satisfied.     Taylor  was  killed  in  the  Indian  outbreak. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  309 

The  arrival  of  Red  river  carts  was  quite  a  feature  and 
brought  considerable  British  coin  into  town.  The  event  was  gen- 
erally celebrated  with  a  high  old  drunk  by  those  old  voyageurs. 
Another  feature  was  the  arrival  in  winter  of  a  dog  train  with 
sledges,  bringing  in  members  of  the  Legislature  from  Pembina  on 
snow-shoes.  Editor  Goodhue  facetiously  announced  them  as 
"  the  arrival  from  Pembina  of  members  of  the  Legislature,  Jim 
Vincent,  Teton,  and  the  other  dogs ;  they  are  all  putting  up  at 
the  Central  House." 


Capt.  Stees  returned  to  Philadelphia  in  1853  and  learned 
the  jewelry  business ;  then  went  south  to  Raleigh,  N.  C,  where 
he  followed  that  business  until  secession  sentiments  got  pretty 
warm,  and  he  returned  to  Philadelphia.  When  Sumpter  was 
fired  on  he  joined  the  army  and  was  Major  of  a  three- months 
Pennsylvania  regiment,  and  on  the  mustering  out  of  his  regi- 
ment he  returned  to  St.  Paul  and  engaged  in  the  furniture  busi- 
ness with  his  brothers,  but  the  exciting  times  of  war  rendered 
him  restless  and  too  uneasy  for  business,  so  with  a  number  of 
other  young  men  on  Third  street,  he  re-enlisted  in  the  Ninth 
Minnesota  Regiment.  The  up-rising  of  Little  Crow  and  massacre 
of  our  people  by  the  Sioux  requiring  prompt  action.  Gov.  Ram- 
sey issued  a  proclamation  consolidating  the  first  ten  fullest  com- 
panies into  the  Sixth  Regiment,  and  thus  young  Stees  became 
Second  Lieutenant  of  Co.  G,  and  the  troops  were  immediately 
sent  to  the  front.  After  the  fight  at  Birch  Coolie  he  started  for 
St.  Paul  with  Col.  Prince,  bearing  dispatches  for  Gov.  Ramsey. 

RATHER    amusing. 

They  arrived  at  St.  Peter  at  9  o'clock  that  night  and  changed 
horses.  Below  St.  Peter  they  stopped  at  Harry  Lamberton's 
where  Judge  Flandrau  was  stopping,  whom  Mayor  Prince  wished 
to  see  on  business.  The  latter  knocked  at  the  door  and  after 
considerable  delay  a  light  appeared  and  a  voice  from  the  inside 
asked — "  Who  's  there  ?  "  *'  Mayor  Prince,  from  St.  Paul  !  "  was 
the  reply.  Presently  the  door  was  opened  about  a  foot  by  Mr. 
Lamberton  with  a  lamp  in  hand,  revealing  Judge  Flandrau  at 
the  head  of  the  stairs  with  a  double-barrelled  shot-gun  cocked 

.9 1 0  PEN  PICT  URES 

and  bearing  upon  the  untimely  visitors.  Lamberton  held  the  door 
in  that  position  until  Flandrau  reported  the  visitors  "  O.  K."  and 
they  were  admitted.  These  gentlemen  were  "  neither  naked  nor 
clothed,  barefoot  nor  shod,"  but  each  were  robed  in  a  garment 
which  covered  them,  and  after  a  hearty  laugh  at  the  situation, 
business  was  transacted,  a  lunch  discussed  and  washed  down 
and  the  guests  took  their  departure.  The  scene  was  a  ludicrous 
one,  but  the  state  of  affairs  made  the  precaution  necessary. 


Capt.  Stees  was  with  his  regiment,  the  Sixth  Minnesota,  until 
the  close  of  the  war ;  was  on  two  Indian  expeditions  under  Gen. 
Sibley ;  then  went  south  to  that  graveyard  of  disease,  Helena, 
Ark.,  or,  as  the  boys  were  pleased  to  call  it,  "  Hell-in-Arkan- 
saw."  Thence  to  Missouri  and  brigaded  with  the  Sixteenth 
army  corps  at  New  Orleans ;  then  around  to  Dauphin  Island  and 
up  the  Mobile  Bay  at  the  taking  of  Spanish  Fort  and  Fort 
Blakely  and  the  fall  of  Mobile  in  April,  1865.  After  Richmond 
had  been  taken  and  Lee  surrendered,  the  regiment  then  went  to 
Montgomery,  Ala.,  and  remained  there  until  July,  when  they 
were  ordered  home  and  mustered  out  at  Fort  Snelling  August 
19,  1865. 

After  this  he  spent  twelve  years  in  California,  when,  return- 
ing to  St.  Paul  he  married  and  settled  down  engaging  in  the  fur- 
niture business  with  his  brother.  When  the  Stees  Brothers  sold 
out  to  Quinby  &  Abbott  at  the  beginning  of  the  present  year,  he 
remained  with  the  new  firm  taking  charge  of  the  undertaking 
department  making  that  his  specialty. 

As  regards  age  Capt.  Stees  holds  his  own  pretty  well,  and 
as  an  old  veteran  from  Grand  Forks  remarked  to  him  at  the 
G.  A.  R.  encampment  at  Minneapolis — "  If  I  didn't  know  it  was 
twenty-three  years  ago  since  I  did  the  first  guard  duty  I  ever  did 
in  my  life  under  you  as  Lieut.  Stees  at  Fort  Ridgley  on  the  night 
before  the  fight  at  Birch  Coolie,  I  would  say  you  were  not  a  day 
older  now  than  you  were  then."  And  he  has  never  forgotten  the 
barrel  of  pickles  issued  to  his  men  by  the  writer,  then  Major 
C.  S.  U.  S.  Army  at  St.  Cloud,  on  their  return  from  the  second 
Indian  expedition  under  Gen.  Sibley. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  311 


Capt.  Stees  is  a  man  of  fine  social  qualities ;  of  medium  size; 
quick  in  his  movements ;  impulsive;  ready  to  resent  a  wrong  or 
a  fancied  injury,  and  yet  he  is  brave,  generous  and  kind-hearted. 
His  large  experience  of  events  of  early  days  in  the  history  of  our 
State  and  his  retentive  memory,  enable  me  to  give  a  very  read- 
able and  interesting  Pen  Picture  of  his  life.  He  is  just  in  the 
prime  of  his  manhood  and  is  a  gentleman  of  more  than  ordinary 

J.    D.    POLLOCK. 

Mr.  Pollock  was  born  in  Dearborn  County,  Indiana,  of 
Scotch-Irish  parents,  in  1825.  He  was  educated  in  a  log  school- 
house  and  graduated  at  the  age  of  ten  years,  occasionally  after- 
wards studying  by  the  light  of  a  hickory-bark  fire  during  the 
time  he  worked  on  the  home  farm.  At  the  age  of  twenty-one 
he  removed  to  Cincinnati  and  in  the  spring  of  1851  he  came  to 
St.  Paul  expecting  to  return  in  the  fall,  not  deeming  it  safe  for 
any  one  but  a  Canadian  Frenchman  to  rer^iain  so  far  north  dur- 
ing the  winter. 


In  connection  with  his  present  partner,  Mr.  Donaldson,  Mr. 
Pollock  purchased  several  pieces  of  real  estate  in  block  44,  Kitt- 
son's addition,  for  $400;  now  worth  ^50,000 ;  also  a  claim  for  160 
acres  for  ^50,  costing  in  the  aggregate  ;^200  ;  now^  worth  ;S20,ooo, 
and  finding  that  these  purchases  kept  him  from  returning  East  he 
concluded  to  remain  in  St.  Paul  and  issued  his  card  as  an  archi- 
tect and  builder,  and  the  handsome  residences  of  the  late  Horace 
and  J.  E.  Thompson  and  J.  C.  Burbank,  attest  his  fine  taste  in  this 
natural  line  of  his  genius. 

In  1 85 1  he  entered  into  partnership  with  Mr.  A.  S.  Ogden 
in  the  general  grocery  business,  and  in  the  following  March 
formed  the  partnership  of  the  present  firm  of  Pollock,  Donaldson 
&  Ogden,  which  has  been  continually  in  business  for  thirty-four 
years.  He  married  the  youngest  daughter  of  the  late  Major  N. 
McLean  in  the  year  1855,  ^^^  commenced  housekeeping  in  the 
edifice  still  standing  on  the  corner  of  Broadway  and  Fifth  streets, 
where  he  lived  over  twenty-five  years,  or  until  he  built  his  pres- 


ent  beautiful  residence  on  Portland  avenue.     He  disposed  of  his 
old  house  and  two  lots,  which  cost  him  $16,000,  for  $20,000. 

Mr.  Pollock  is  a  strongly  marked  man,  the  Scotch  in  his 
elements  predominating.  He  is  of  medium  size  ;  sandy  hair  and 
whiskers,  and  is  an  indomitable  worker.  He  and  his  partners 
fully  verify  the  adage  that  a  legitimate  business  constantly 
adhered  to,  wins  in  the  long  run.  He  is  a  quiet,  unobtrusive 
gentleman,  well  fixed  financially,  and  like  his  partner,  Mr.  Don- 
aldson, is  in  a  condition  to  enjoy  a  serene  and  mellow  old  age, 
and  he  fully  deserves  all  the  happiness  and  comfort  life  can  give. 


Born  in  Canada  in  1833,  where  he  learned  his  trade;  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  engaged  with  Borup  &  Oakes  in  their  lum- 
bering mills;  then  in  their  flouring  mills  ;  then  had  charge  of 
the  old  Winslow  mill ;  then  worked  in  the  Government  mills  at 
Winnebago  Agency;  went  to  California  in  1858  ;  returned  to  St. 
Paul  in  1866,  and  continued  to  follow  his  trade  in  different  parts 
of  the  State  up  to  1878,  when  he  engaged  as  head  miller  in  the 
Brainerd  mills,  where  I  believe  he  now  is.  He  is  a  man  who 
thoroughly  understands  his  business  ;  is  industrious,  and  is  an 
active  worker  in  the  great  busy  bee-hive  of  life. 


Mr.  Riheldaffer  was  born  in  Pennsylvania,  of  German-Irish 
descent,  in  1818  ;  was  educated  at  West  Alexandria  Washington 
College,  in  the  Princeton  Theological  Seminary ;  graduated  in 
1 848 ;  became  the  pastor  of  the  First  Presbyterian  Church  at 
Fort  Wayne,  Indiana;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  organized 
and  built  the  Central  Presbyterian  Church  near  the  Capitol,  and 
was  minister  of  this  church  thirteen  years.  In  1858  he  opened 
the  first  and  then  only  Protestant  Female  Seminary  in  the  State,, 
and  his  school  was  located  on  the  corner  of  Summit  avenue  and 
St.  Peter  street.  He  continued  this  seminar}'  for  ten  \'ears, 
when,  in  1868  he  was  appointed  superintendent  of  the  State 
Reform  School,  which  position  he  still  holds.  Previous  to  this 
he  was  a  member  of  the  Board  and  also  for  seven  years  Regent 
of  the  State  University.  He  is  also  trustee  of  the  Albert  Lea 
college,  which  is  really  only  an  off-shoot  of  his  old  seminary. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MIXN.  313 


He  owned  three  lots  on  the  corner  of  Summit  avenue  and 
St.  Peter  street,  150  by  186,  upon  which  his  school  buildings 
stood,  and  which  cost  him  originally  $1,200;  worth  now  $50,- 
000 ;  he  also  owned  eleven  lots  in  the  immediate  neighborhood 
of  the  last  named  property,  for  which  he  paid  $3,000;  could 
not  be  bought  now  for  less  than  $100,000;  a  lot  on  Fifth  street, 
nearly  opposite  the  Custom  House,  costing  him  $350,  is  now 
worth  $25,000;  another  lot  near  Hope  Church,  which  cost  him 
$600,  worth  $8,000 ;  three  lots  close  to  Stillwater  street,  valued 
at  $15,000,  cost  him  $125.  Of  course  had  Mr.  Riheldaffer  held 
on  to  his  lots  until  the  present  day,  he  would  have  been  a  very 
rich  man,  but  like  many  others  he  didn't. 

No  man  in  the  State  of  Minnesota  is  better  fitted  for  the 
position  of  Superintendent  of  the  Reform  School,  than  ?vlr. 
Riheldaffer.  He  has  built  the  school  up  to  its  present  flourish- 
ing condition,  which  is  the  finest  of  any  institution  in  the  State, 
and  nobody  could  ask  for  a  better  man.  Surrounded  by  one 
hundred  and  twenty-eight  boys  and  fourteen  girls,  everything 
moves  along  like  clock-work,  and  the  expenses  are  kept  down 
to  a  consistent  grade  of  economy.  The  State  owns  sixty-three 
acres,  which  originally  cost  $17,000;  worth  now  $126,000; 
$/ 5,000  have  been  expended  in  improvements,  making  the  insti- 
tution— land  and  buildings — valued  at  $201,000, — the  State  gain- 
ing a  profit  on  the  land  alone  of  $109,000. 


I  remember  Mr.  Riheldaffer  about  thirty  years  ago,  as  a 
tall,  well-proportioned  gentleman,  with  black  hair  and  black 
whiskers ;  moderate  in  his  speech  but  decisive  in  opinions.  He 
has  grown  stouter  now  and  his  hair  and  whiskers  are  gray, 
although  his  complexion  is  florid  and  he  is  the  picture  of  health, 
bordering  on  to  the  likenesses  of  the  old  patriarchs  of  a  by-gone 
age.  He  is  a  fine-looking  man ;  cool  and  decided ;  possessing 
fine  abilities ;  careful  and  cautious ;  very  attentive  to  his  duties, 
and  during  the  sixteen  years  he  has  been  Superintendent  of  the 
Reform  School,  nobody  has  questioned  his  honor,  his  honesty, 
or  his  manhood.     A  valuable  citizen,  his  loss  will  be  keenly  fe.t 


when  he  steps  over  the  river  on  to  the  other  shore.  He  was 
married  in  185 1  to  Miss  Catherine  Ogden,  and  has  a  family  of 
four  children. 


Mr.  Farrington  is  a  man  now  about  sixty  years  of  age, 
being  born  in  Ireland  in  1826,  and  some  thirty  years  ago  was 
known  to  the  writer  as  a  banker  and  dealer  in  real  estate.  He 
was  an  enterprising  gentleman  and  erected  a  number  of  houses 
and  dealt  largely  in  city  lots,  and  was  a  member  of  the  Legis- 
lature in  1852-3  ;  a  member  of  the  City  Council  in  185 1-2  ;  one 
of  the  incorporators  of  the  Oakland  Cemetery  in  1853.  He 
formerly  lived  on  College  avenue  in  what  is  known  as  the  **  oc- 
tagon "  house,  still  standing,  but  removed  to  Madison,  Wiscon- 
sin, where  he  engaged  in  the  banking  business.  He  was  at  one 
time  in  1854,  a  silent  partner  in  the  St.  Paul  Daily  Times,  sub- 
sequently merged  into  the  Press;  then  for  several  years  ran  the 
Park  Place  hotel.  He  was  a  man  of  energy  and  stirring  busi- 
ness qualities  ;  affable  in  his  manners  yet  a  deadly  opponent 
when  aroused.  He  was  also  one  of  the  first  supporters  of  the 
Central  Presbyterian  Church.  He  invested  in  Minnesota  in  1849 
with  his  brother  John,  and  located  at  St.  Paul  in  1851.  In  his 
home  life  he  was  exceedingly  pleasant,  and  I  remember  him  very 
sincerely,  for  it  was  he  who  kindly  administered  to  my  comfort 
when  lying  sick  with  a  bilious  fever  at  the  old  Winslow  House, 
in  the  year  1854.  He  removed  from  St.  Paul  some  twenty 
years  ago,  and  I  believe  is  now  a  resident  of  California. 


Mr.  Borup  was  born  about  1834;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851, 
and  of  course  was  quite  a  young  man.  He  eventually  drifted 
into  the  commission  business  and  then  into  the  grocery  business, 
and  is  now  a  sutler  on  the  frontier. 

It  is  said  of  him  that  in  the  midst  of  a  fight  with  two  steam- 
boat crews,  a  burly  roustabout  was  just  in  the  act  of  hurling  a 
large  iron  bar  from  the  levee,  into  the  brain  of  one  of  the  Cap- 
tains of  the  boats,  when  Theodore  rushed  down  and  with  the 
agility  of  a  tiger  and  the  strength  of  a  Hercules,  struck  the  as- 
sailant to  the  ground,  thereby  saving  the  life  of  the  captain.    This 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  315 

feat  is  pronounced  by  those  who  witnessed  it  as  one  of  tlie  most 
daring  and  decisive  ever  performed. 


When  the  Indians  fired  into  the  Minnesota  Outfit  in  1852 
and  killed  a  sister  of  old  Bets,  Borup  with  David  Oakes  were  in 
the  store,  and  they  both  rushed  to  the  front  door  and  confront- 
ing the  Indians  Borup  charged  them  with  cowardice  and  mean- 
ness in  firing  upon  inoffensive  women  and  children,  and  this  dar- 
ing act  on  his  part  subdued  the  savages  and  saved  the  loss  of 
many  lives,  for  the  Indians,  ashamed  of  themselves,  skulked 
away  when  they  originally  intended  to  kill  every  Sioux  in  the 

Mr.  Borup  is  a  slender  person ;  very  wiry ;  very  quick  ; 
possesses  good  commercial  qualities,  and  is  eminently  a  man  of 
fine  social  characteristics.  He  is  of  a  quiet,  undemonstrative 
nature,  yet  of  a  roving  disposition,  and  is  well  known  to  all  the 
old  settlers,  among  whom  he  has  grown  up  from  a  mere  bo}'  to 
that  of  a  man  of  mature  years. 

A.    H.    CATHCART. 

Mr.  Cathcart  was  born  in  Canada  about  the  year  1827  ;  was 
educated  there,  and  at  the  age  of  eleven  years  was  trained  in  the 
mysteries  of  the  dry-goods  business.  Reaching  his  majority  he 
went  to  Montreal,  and  later  removed  to  New  York,  where  he 
remained  until  1850;  then  drifted  West  and  finally  arrived  at 
St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  was  at  one  time  messenger  in  the  Legislature. 
He  was  among  the  very  first  dry-goods  merchants  in  this  city, 
if  not  the  first  who  made  a  specialty  of  the  business.  The  firm 
was  A.  H.  &  J.  Cathcart,  and  in  1852  they  ran  two  stores  ;  then 
they  removed  their  stoclv  to  Robert  street,  and  in  1855  erected 
a  laro;e  brick  buildincr  on  Third  street,  near  where  the  First  Na- 
tional  Bank  used  to  stand,  and  filled  it  with  a  heavy  assortment 
of  goods.  At  this  time  Cathcarts'  was  the  great  dry-goods 
house  in  the  city.  They  passed  through  the  disastrous  times  of 
1857,  and  in  1873  A.  H.  Cathcart  (John  having  been  rhurdered 
in  the  South,)  took  in  a  partner  by  the  name  of  Oxley,  and  the 
store  was  then  removed  to  the  corner  of  Third  and  Wabasha 
streets,   which   occupied   the  whole    space  now  devoted  to  the 

316  PEN  PICT  V RES 

business  purposes  of  Lambie  &  Co.  and  Myers  &  Finch.  Sub- 
sequently Mr.  Cathcart  removed  to  Farmington,  in  Dakota 
County,  where  he  carried  on  the  business  for  several  years,  when 
he  relinquished  it  and  came  to  St.  Paul  where  he  now  is.  One 
of  his  sons,  born  here,  became  a  lawyer  and  is  now  practicing  in 
the  city. 

AS    HE    USED    TO    BE. 

Mr.  Cathcart  thirty  years  ago  was  a  comparatively  young 
man,  tall,  well-proportioned,  with  black  side-whiskers,  and  the 
very  essence  of  politeness.  His  early  education  in  the  dry-goods 
business  had  given  him  a  polish  which  was  very  taking  with  the 
ladies.  As  he  grew  older  the  hair  grew  thinner  on  the  top  of 
his  head  until  the  crowning  glory  of  years  now  picture  him  as 
a  man  passed  the  meridian  of  life.  And  yet  he  is  straight,  ac- 
tive, vigorous. 


John  was  the  brother  of  A.  H.  and  was  one  of  the  firm ; 
born  in  Canada  about  1829;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851,  and  the 
dry-goods  firm  became  A.  H.  &  J.  Cathcart.  During  the  war 
John  went  South  to  engage  in  the  cultivation  of  cotton,  and  hav- 
ing secured  a  plantation  in  Louisiana  was  proceeding,  with  a 
partner,  to  commence  operations,  when  one  night,  all  alone,  a 
body  of  southern  men  arrived  at  his  place  and  ordered  him  to 
get  up  and  come  out.  He  did  so,  when  they  took  him  about 
eight  miles  from  his  house,  and  after  stripping  him,  shot  him 
through  the  head,  and  he  was  found  dead  the  next  morning  un- 
der a  tree.     His  body  was  brought  to  St.  Paul  and  buried. 

I  never  knew  the  immediate  cause  of  his  death,  whether  it 
originated  from  something  Cathcart  said  which  was  obnoxious 
to  the  then  southern  mind,  or  whether  they  thought  he  had  no 
right  to  the  land,  or  whether  it  was  done  out  of  pure  deviltry 
because  he  was  a  northern  man.  It  was  sad  enough  to  realize 
the  fact  that  he  was  murdered,  even  if  we  never  know  the  reason 
for  the  act. 

John  was  more  daring  than  his  brother.  He  grouped  about 
him  a  circle  of  young  friends,  and  struck  out  on  his  own  re- 
sponsibility. He  certainly  was  not  wise  in  taking  the  time  he 
did  to  make  his  "  new  departure,"  for  a  few  years   later  would 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MIXy.  317 

have  given  him  greater  security  to  both  Hfe  and  Hmb.  He  was 
esteemed  in  the  city  and  his  death  was  greatly  regretted.  He 
was  unmarried. 


The  Drummer  Boy  of  Minnesota,  noted  for  his  dexterity  on 
the  drum  and  for  his  humorous  nature  and  many  excellent  jokes, 
was  born  in  Indiana  in  1845,  ^"<^  ^^  the  age  of  seven  years,  or 
in  185 1,  came  to  St.  Paul,  where  he  received  his  education,  and 
was  at  school  when,  in  1861,  the  War  of  the  Rebellion  broke 
out,  and  at  the  age  of  sixteen  years  he  joined  Company  K,  of 
the  Second  Minnesota  Regiment,  and  went  to  the  front  as  the 
favorite  drummer  boy  of  the  boys  in  blue ;  was  in  the  battles  of 
Mill  Spring,  Shiloh,  Corinth,  Perryville,  Stone  River,  Chicka- 
mauga  and  many  others.  His  time  expiring,  he  re-enlisted,  and 
soon  after  joined  Sherman's  forces  in  Georgia  and  was  with  him 
in  his  grand  march  to  the  sea ;  and  he  was  also  at  the  grand 
review  at  Washington,  and  during  all  the  war  he  never  was 
wounded  or  received  a  scratch.  He  returned  home  in  1865  and 
engaged  in  various  occupations,  among  which  was  a  favorite 
saloon  known  as  *'  Billy  Bircher's  Place,"  in  West  St.  Paul. 
He  claims  to  be  the  youngest  soldier  now  living  of  the  great 
army  of  the  Union,  having  enlisted  in  1861  and  passed  through 
the  entire  service.  He  also  beat  the  first  long  roll  for  the  first 
victory  of  the  war  at  Mill  Spring,  and  the  last  long  roll  of  victory 
at  Bentonville,  North  Carolina.  Mr.  Bircher  gave  up  his  saloon 
in  West  St.  Paul  and  engaged  in  the  grocery  business  with 
James  McGrath,  and  retiring  from  this  he  removed  into  Dakota 
County,  where  he  is  now  cultivating  the  soil.  He  was  married 
to  Mary  Young  in  1869  and  has  three  children. 

diamond  cut  diamond. 

Bircher  is  full  of  jokes.  At  the  late  State  Fair  there  was  a 
great  crowd  rushing  on  to  the  cars  to  get  seats,  and  among  the 
number  were  the  members  of  the  Great  Western  Band.  Two  of 
them  secured  comfortable  positions,  leaving  ''  Billy  "  out  in  the 
cold,  when  he  made  up  his  mind  to  get  even  with  them,  so  when 
a  friend  and  his  lady  entered  the  cars  he  remarked  carelessl}' — 
"  Cars  pretty  full."     "  Yes,"  said  the  friend.     "  I  wouldn't  care 


only  I  have  my  wife  with  me."  "  Come  along  with  me,'-'  said 
Bircher,  **  and  I'll  get  you  a  seat,"  and  forthwith  he  proceeded  to 
the  place  occupied  by  his  fellow  musicians,  and  after  introducing 
both  the  lady  and  the  gentleman  to  his  friends,  mildly  remarked — 
'*  These  people  would  like  a  seat."  Of  course  they  got  it,  but 
wnth  a  mental  reservation  on  the  part  of  the  victims  that  they 
owed  "  Billy  "  Bircher  just  one. 

GOT    IT    BACK. 

Returning  from  the  Rochester  Fair  the  train  reached  a  way- 
station  in  the  night,  dark  and  rainy.  The  members  of  the  Great 
Western  Band  were  on  board,  and  so  was  "  Billy,"  who,  very 
tired  at  the  time  the  cars  stopped,  was  dozing,  when  the  conduc- 
tor called  out — "  West  St.  Paul  !  "  Bircher  started  up,  rubbed 
his  eyes,  looked  out  of  the  window,  seized  his  drum  and,  half 
asleep,  amid  the  darkness  and  the  rain,  jumped  on  to  the  plat- 
form while  the  train  moved  on,  and  at  the  end  of  the  car  could 
be  seen  a  musician  laughing  over  the  victory  he  had  achieved 
and  tooting  on  his  instrument.  "  That  ain't  West  St.  Paul, 
Bircher,"  cried  out  one  of  his  friends.  "Oh,  you  get  out,"  said 
Bircher ;  **  I  was  here  before  you  were  born  ;  I  guess  I  know 
West  St.  Paul  when  I  see  it."  Sauntering  up  to  the  depot  he 
met  the    man   in   charge,  who,   surprised,  asked — *'  What's   the 

matter  ?    Left  ?  "    "  Left !  the  d 1,  what  do  you  mean  ?  "  asked 

Bircher.  "  Why,  this  is  Randolph,  thirty-two  miles  from  St. 
Pi.UL !  "  To  use  a  slang  phrase,  Bircher  "  tumbled  "  at  once,  and 
soon  after  the  cars  backed  down  and  took  him  on  board,  and 
since  then  "  Billy  "  has  not  been  playing  as  many  practical  jokes 
as  usual,  for  he  found  out  that  there  is  truth  in  the  old  axiom: 
"  Diamond  cut  diamond." 


Mr.  Bircher  is  a  short,  chunky  man,  very  social  and  very 
kind-hearted  ;  broad-guaged  in  his  generosity  and  delights  in 
narrating  many  thrilling  scenes  of  the  war.  Once,  in  the  spring 
of  i88i,  when  West  St.  Paul  was  flooded,  many  neighbors  took 
shelter  under  "  Billy's  "  hospitable  roof,  and  there  they  were  re- 
ceived kindly,  tenderly  treated  by  the  proprietor  and  his  wife  and  a 
young  man  by  the  name  of  Conrad  Stautz,  then  in  his  emplo)-, 

OF  ST,  PAUL,  MINN.  319 

and  many  years  will  elapse  before  those  then  gath  ered  in  safety 
from  the  roaring  flood  in  Mr.  Bircher's  humble  home,  will  forget 
his  kindly  act.  He  is  still  the  "  drummer  boy,"  where  he  has  been 
for  twenty  years,  in  the  Great  Western  Band,  and  can  perform 
on  either  the  little  or  the  big  drum,  taking  the  blue  ribbon  as  the 
best  manipulator  of  the  sticks.  He  is  a  gentleman  very  univer- 
sally esteemed  for  his  many  excellent  qualities  and  bears  a  good 
reputation  as  an  honorable  man. 


It  is  stated  that  there  is  an  average  of  one  death  per  minute 
among  the  population  of  the  world,  and  when  one  comes  to  think 
what  an  enormous  number  of  inhabitants  must  be  in  that  other 
land  to  which  we  are  all  going,  the  question  naturally  arises, 
"Where  are  all  these  people  and  what  are  they  doing?"  In 
round  numbers  the  dead  must  exceed  billions  upon  billions. 
Do  they  work  ?  Have  they  bodies  ?  How  is  it  possible  among 
all  that  crowd  of  billions  for  one  to  find  his  relatives  and  friends  ? 
How  can  they  all  nestle  in  Abraham's  bosom?  The  dead  must 
exceed  many  times  the  living,  and  there  are  now  on  the  earth 
at  least  900,000,000 ;  and  it  puzzles  the  thinking  mind  to  know 
where  they  are  and  what  they  are  doing.  One  is  impressed  with 
these  thoughts  by  the  fact  that  a  little  over  two  years  ago  the 
writer  commenced  his  Pen  Pictures  and  since  then  twenty  old 
settlers  have  gone  to  join  the  great  crowd  beyond — where? 

D.    A.    MILLER. 

Mr.  Miller  was  born  in  Virginia  in  1828  and  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  185 1,  or  thirty-four  years  ago,  when  there  was  but  a 
small  cluster  of  houses  where  now  stands  a  city  of  I2C,000 
people.  He  was  a  carpenter  by  trade  and  worked  at  his  profes- 
sion three  years.  He  was  on  intimate  terms  with  the  Indian 
chief  Little  Crow,  and  has  seen  many  changes  since  his  residence 
here.  A  few  years  ago  he  kept  what  was  known  as  the  Warren 
House,  or  better  known  as  **  Moffett's  Castle,"  which  stood  on  the 
corner  of  Jackson  and  Fourth  streets,  where  the  building  of  the 
First  National  Bank  now  stands.  He  was  a  tall,  slender  man, 
somewhat  moderate  in  his  speech  and  in  his  movements,  yet  a 
pleasant  gentleman. 



Mr.  Curran  was  born  in  Ireland  about  the  year  1806 ;  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  opened  a  large  dry-goods  store  on  the 
corner  of  Third  and  Robert  streets,  and  for  that  early  day  carried 
on  an  extensive  trade.  His  two  beautiful  daughters  clerked  for 
him,  and  "  Curran's  World's  Fair  Store"  was  as  well  known  in 
St,  Paul  in  1851  as  Stewart's  used  to  be  in  New  York  in  later 

About  this  time  there  was  a  law  upon  the  Territorial  Statute 
book  authorizing  imprisonment  for  debt,  and  in  the  little  old, 
dark,  weather-beaten,  unpainted,  one-story  wooden  jail,  which 
stood  near  where  the  present  stone  one  now  stands,  several  per- 
sons had  been  confined  because  they  could  not  discharge  their 
honest  obligations,  and  one  prisoner  died  in  jail  before  he  could 
satisfy  the  demands  of  his  creditors.  And  this  occurred  right 
in  the  city  of  St.  Paul!  Curran  was  just  the  man  to  push  busi- 
ness, and  of  course  he  became  involved,  and  by  the  advice  of  his 
lawyer  stepped  across  into  Wisconsin  to  save  himself  from  crimi- 
nal arrest.  The  necessity  for  this  act  brought  out  the  indigna- 
tion of  his  friends,  and  indeed  the  indignation  of  all  the  friends 
of  those  who  were  or  might  become  financially  unfortunate,  and 
Judge  Goodrich  stepped  to  the  front  as  the  champion  of  the 
repeal  of  this  obnoxious  law,  and  prepared  a  bill  for  that  purpose 
which  was  presented  to  the  Legislature  of  1854.  "Bill  Davis," 
of  this  city,  a  member  of  the  House,  had  the  bill  in  charge,  and 
after  it  had  passed  both  branches  of  the  Legislature  and  had  gone 
into  the  hands  of  the  Engrossing  Clerk,  it  could  nowhere  be 
found,  and  the  clerk  claimed  that  it  had  been  either  lost  or  stolen. 

A    CLOSE    CALL. 

Goodrich  and  Davis  were  petrifiedly  mad !  They  stormed 
about  among  the  members  and  through  the  halls  of  the  building  ; 
held  secret  meetings  ;  appointed  detectives,  and  swore  vengeance 
upon  the  person  who  had  perpetrated  the  outrage.  And  so  a 
week  or  more  passed,  when  a  suspicious  member  was  spotted,  and 
as  he  came  out  of  the  House  of  Representatives  embellished  with 
his  usual  innocent  and  child-like  smile,  Davis  demanded  the  bill. 
"  Oh  !  "  he  said,  "  he  didn't  have  the  bill ;  he  positively  knew 
nothing  about  it!     He  would  be  ashamed  to  do  so  dirty  a  trick." 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  321 

Here  Goodrich,  who  had  informed  Davis  that  the  bill  had  been 
seen  and  was  about  to  leave  the  Capitol,  stepped  in  front  of  the 
retiring  member  and  said — "  You  have  the  bill  now  in  your 
pocket.     If  this  be  not  so,  hold  me  responsible."     Then  Davis 

said — '*  G d you,  give  me  that  bill,"  drawing  a  pistol 

and  putting  it  close  to  his  head,  while  Judge  Goodrich  stood  near 
by  with  his  eyes  flashing  fire.     ''  Give  me  that  bill !  "  again  cried 

Davis,  *'  or  I'll  blow  your  d d  brains  out  in  two  minutes,"  at 

the  same  time  drawing  out  his  watch  and  cocking  his  pistol ! 
The  '*  Heathen  Chinee  "  hesitated  a  minute,  when  Davis  exclaimed 
— '*  One  minute  more  and  you  are  a  dead  man  !  "  and  out  from 
the  member's  coat  pocket  came  the  stolen  bill !  Davis  and  Good- 
rich were  so  rejoiced  to  get  back  again  their  little  pet  that  they 
forgot  to  administer  severe  punishment  to  the  member,  and  he 
fortunately  escaped  unhurt,  yet  if  he  had  not  given  up  the  bill 
just  when  he  did,  he  would  have  been  a  dead  man,  for  in  those 
days  men  meant  what  they  said  when  they  drew  a  pistol  on 
another.  The  bill  passed  both  houses,  was  signed  by  Gov. 
Gorman,  and  the  obnoxious  law  was  wiped  from  the  statute  book, 
after  having  been  in  force  from  1849,  some  four  years. 

This  detestable  law  really  broke  Curran  up,  for  it  took  time 
to  repeal  it,  and  before  that  was  accomplished  his  business  suf- 
fered and  he  finally  sold  out  to  Capt.  Louis  Robert. 


Curran  was  a  medium-sized  man  ;  rather  slenderly  built,  and 
if  I  remember  correctly,  with  a  smooth  face,  ruddy  complexion, 
aggressive,  insinuating,  quick,  brusk,  with  business-movements, 
possessing  great  energy,  and  a  man  of  nerve  and  venture.  Were 
he  in  business  to-day  he  would  make  his  mark  as  a  first-class 
merchant.  He  lived  in  a  brick  house  which  stood  on  Robert 
street,  west  of  Third,  overlooking  the  river,  and  when  this  house 
was  torn  down  to  make  way  for  a  business  block,  the  bricks 
were  used  in  the  erection  of  Capt.  Louis  Robert's  new  house  at 
the  head  of  the  same  street,  above  Eighth.  I  have  already  men- 
tioned the  fact  that  his  two  daughters  married  and  both  now  live 
in  this  city,  but  where  Mr.  Curran  at  present  is,  or  whether  he  is 
still  alive.  I  do  not  know. 



HENRY    m'kENTY. 

An  odd  genius  was  Henry  McKenty.  Small,  wiry,  active,, 
genial,  persevering,  pushing,  public-spirited,  generous,  sensitive, 
proud,  everlastingly  quick  at  a  bargain,  he  seemed  to  be  driven 
by  a  forty-horse  steam  power  engine,  and  in  the  prime  of  his  life 
he  used  the  capacity  of  the  machine  for  all  it  was  worth.  His 
ideas  were  broad  and  liberal,  and  he  had  nerve  and  courage  to 
carry  them  to  completion.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  just  at  a  time 
when  his  genius  as  a  real  estate  man  had  ample  opportunity 
for  free  scope,  and  he  led  off  in  his  special  department  as  the 
great  warrior  of  his  profession.  He  was  pre-eminently  king ! 
He  was  an  original,  bold,  startling,  aggressive  land  operator,  not 
confined  to  the  limits  of  a  city  or  village,  but  reaching  out  for 
"broad  acres,"  on  a  broad  platform,  with  broad  and  liberal  views 
of  business,  and  he  headed  the  column  until  he  went  down  in 
the  trying  times  of  1857-8.  McKenty  was  truly  a  character! 
In  early  life  a  little  wild,  he  came  west  not  only  to  retrieve  what 
he  had  lost  but  to  gain  in  the  affection  of  one  he  subsequently 
called — wife.  He  won  both,  but  the  end,  oh,  how  sad !  how 
bitter ! 


"  Mac !  I  have  no  money,  but  I  '11  take  a  lot  of  you  for  a 
watch  !"  said  the  writer  in  1853.  "Agreed,"  said  the  smiling 
land  operator.  **  I  have  a  lot  in  Mankato ;  give  me  your  watch 
and  I  will  give  you  your  deed,"  and  the  bargain  was  closed. 
The  watch  was  worth  ;^50,  the  lot  $10.  I  held  the  property  tor 
about  twenty-five  years  when  I  found  it  was  a  part  of  an  uncouth 
stone  quarry,  and  some  way  or  other  I  had  lost  sight  of  the  mat- 
ter until  recently,  when  I  discovered  the  identical  lot  to  be  a. 
valuable  piece  of  real  estate  !  I  guess  I  have  Mac's  deed  yet;  am 
going  to  look  it  up  !     Possibly  I  've  struck  oil. 

In  1853  a  little,  brisk-appearing  citizen  asked  Dr.  Mann  if  he 
had  come  to  the  city  to  loan  money,  if  so  he  could  get  him  five  per 
cent.!  "That's  nothing,"  said  the  Doctor,  "I  can  get  five  per 
cent,  in  Philadelphia."  "  Oh !  "  said  the  little  gentleman,  "  I 
mean  five  per  cent,  per  month,  and  good  paper  at  that."  "Oh-ho  ! 
aha !  yes ! "  said  the  Doctor,  and  a  few  days  after  he  loaned  a 
number  of  little  sums  and  they  were  all  paid  back  with  the  lib- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  323 

eral  five  per  cent,  interest  One  morning  this  little  frisky  man 
wanted  to  sell  the  Doctor  a  lot,  and  succeeded  in  doing  so,  when 
towards  night  he  came  back  and  said : 

"  See  here,  Doctor,  I  will  give  you  one  hundred  dollars 
advance  on  that  lot  I  sold  you,"  and  of  course  the  Doctor  took 
it  and  repeated  the  transaction  several  times  thereafter.  This 
little,  active,  busy,  pleasant  man,  was  Henry  McKenty. 


Pennock  Pusey  was  brought  up  under  Quaker  influences,  and 
when  McKenty  told  him  he  would  give  him  three  and  a  half 
per  cent,  per  month  for  the  use  of  his  money,  he  declined  the 
offer,  honestly  believing  in  those  days  that  it  would  be  wrong  for 
him  to  do  so,  but  before  the  end  of  the  war  Pusey  got  bravely 
over  this  twinge  of  conscience  and  I  should  now  be  afraid  to 
offer  him  two  and  one-half  per  cent,  per  month  !  Mac  compro- 
mised on  a  less  rate  of  interest ;  received  the  money  ;  bought 
"broad  acres"  for  $1.25  per  acre,  and  in  less  than  a  year  after 
Pusey  purchased  some  of  this  same  property  at  $2.50  per  acre, 
and  Mac  made  58  per  cent,  on  his  investment!  That  cured 
Pusey  of  any  further  conscientious  scruples  respecting  the  loan- 
ing of  money  on  a  good  rate  of  interest !  and  especially  as  he 
sold  this  same  land  afterwards  to  Dalrymple  for  $15  per  acre. 

In  1854  Mac  entered  several  thousand  acres  of  prairie  land 
in  Washington  County  at  ;^i.25  per  acre;  in  1855  1^*^  ^old  the 
same  land  for  ;^5  per  acre,  and  cleared  300  per  cent.,  or  $23,000. 
He  immediately  entered  again,  and  again  other  land,  always 
in  **  broad  acres,"  and  came  out  with  tremendous  profits.  The 
great  depression  of  1857-8  carried  land  down  and  with  it  many 
honest,  sagacious,  honorable  men,  and  they  never  recovered  from 
the  disaster, 


A  year  or  two  after  the  financial  crash  of  1857,  McKenty 
began  to  feel  the  effects  of  hard  times,  and  occasionally  would 
not  be  in  condition  to  pay  his  little  debts  as  promptly  and  liber- 
ally as  formerly.  On  this  point  he  was  extremely  sensitive. 
Coming  down  Third  street  one  day  the  writer  observed  both  of 
the  large  glasses  in  his  office  door  broken  all  to  pieces.     Enter- 


ing  I  found  the  smiling  land  operator  and  looking  around  in- 
quired what  was  the  matter  "  Oh,  nothing,  nothing  much,  sir ; 
only  a  big  dog,  sir,  went  through  that  window,  sir !  Bad  dog, 
sir !  bad  dog,  sir !  "  and  Mac  smiled  as  serenely  as  though  he 
had  just  come  in  possession  of  a  great  fortune.  I  left  him  smil- 
ing, w^hen  I  learned  a  few  doors  below  that  a  sort  of  pugnacious 
individual  by  the  name  of  H.  E.  Baker,  generally  called  He 
Baker,  had  dunned  Mac  for  a  little  bill  and  in  seeking  to  press 
his  claims  in  a  somewhat  aggravated  manner,  Mac  seized  him 
quickly  in  the  foundation  of  his  pantaloons  and  pitched  him 
headlong  through  the  window  on  to  the  sidewalk,  and  ever  after 
that  when  any  allusion  was  made  to  the  broken  window,  he 
would  curl  his  lip  and  exclaim — "  A  dog,  sir  !  nothing  but  a  dog, 
sir  !  a  d-o-g  !  " 


Times  continued  bad.  McKenty  still  kept  his  office  on  the 
corner  of  Cedar  and  Third  streets,  but  one  could  see  that  he  was 
financially  worried.  The  same  old  pleasant  smile  played  about 
his  features  and  the  same  old  hopeful  tone  of  voice  greeted  his 
acquaintances,  yet  to  one  who  knew  him  well  there  was  a  tinge 
of  sadness  which  elicited  the  secret  sympathy  of  all  his  old  and 
well-tried  friends.  Knowing  that  he  must  be  in  need  of  money, 
I  said  to  him  one  day — "  Mac,  I  will  give  you  ^5  for  that  ancient 
rocking-chair,"  pointing  to  an  old-fashioned  rocker  with  the  hair 
seat  all  out  and  the  springs  considerably  smashed.  *'  No,  sir  ; 
you  can't  have  it  sir  !  at  that  price,  sir  !  too  much,  sir  !  too  much, 
sir  !  will  take  $4,  sir,  for  that  chair,  sir  !  $4,  sir  !  "  and  I  paid  him 
the  money  and  shall  never  forget  the  tear  as  it  gathered  in  his 
eye  and  shone  through  the  sweet  smile  which  radiated  his  face. 
Of  course  the  chair  was  repaired,  and  while  seated  in  it  one 
evening,  Mac  came  into  my  home  and  in  glowing  terms  pictured 
to  me  what  could  be  done  in  the  oil  regions  if  he  only  had  a  lit- 
tle money,  so  I  pooled  in  $400,  and  as  I  never  received  any 
equivalent  back,  the  chair  cost  me  just  $404.  It  has  been  my 
favorite  seat  now  for  over  twent}-  years,  and  in  it  I  have  dreamed 
of  the  past,  of  its  old  owner,  of  the  ups  and  downs  of  life,  and 
of  the  many  scenes  and  incidents  portrayed  in  my  Pen  Pictures. 
Dear  old  chair !  no  matter  what  thy  history  may  have  been,  I 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  325 

love  thee  still.  Within  thy  soft  cushioned  folds  I  feel  secure 
from  the  outer  world,  and  while  I  rock  leisurely  to  and  fro, 
sometimes  I  think  I  hear  gentle  voices  from  another  sphere  whis- 
pering— "  Peace!  peace!"  How  unselfish  is  that  old  chair!  how 
faithful !  how  true !  how  serene !  how  comfortable !  how  full  of 
by-gone  memories. 

"  NOW    GO    ON    WITH    YOUR    BIDDING." 

Sometime  in  1853  McKenty  secured  land  where  Minne- 
apolis now  stands,  and  hearing  that  certain  parties  had  threat- 
ened to  bid  on  it  over  himself,  he  went  to  a  cabinet-maker  and 
ordered  two  coffins,  both  painted  black ;  then  to  a  livery  stable 
and  procured  a  'bus  ;  then  secured  a  band  of  music,  and  with 
the  coffins  and  the  musicians  and  flags  and  the  people,  (free  ride) 
he  drove  to  the  place  where  the  bidding  was  to  be,  (I  think  Still- 
water,) and  arriving  amid  a  great  crowd  placed  the  coffins  on  the 
ground,  and  on  the  coffins  laid  two  huge  pistols,  and  then  mount- 
ing one  of  the  coffins  he  called  out  aloud — **  Now  go  on  with 
your  bidding ! "  Of  course  nobody  under  the  circumstances 
bid,  and  Mac  got  the  land.  I  do  not  give  this  as  of  my  own 
personal  knowledge,  but  as  obtained  from  other  parties. 

THE    END    OF    A    BUSY    LIFE. 

Tired  with  waiting  for  the  good  times  to  come,  Mr,  Mc- 
Kenty sought  the  oil  regions  in  hopes  to  retrieve  his  losses,  but 
there  fate  went  against  him  and  returning  to  St.  Paul  he  col- 
lected a  little  money  and  soon  after  started  for  California,  but  he 
found  no  relief  in  the  golden  city,  and  finally  drifted  back  to  his 
old  stamping  ground,  a  disheartened,  discouraged,  changed 
man,  but  still  he  struggled  to  regain  his  lost  footing.  I  met  him 
at  the  Merchants  hotel  the  day  before  he  passed  out  of  sight  for- 
ever. He  sat  reading  a  newspaper  when  Col.  Shaw  glanced  over 
his  shoulder  and  found  that  the  print  was  upside  down.  He  in- 
vited him  to  dinner  and  as  he  sat  waiting  to  be  served,  he  devoted 
his  time  in  thoughtlessly  catching  flies.  The  next  day  he  was 
dead.  Unable  to  "  endure  the  slings  and  arrows  of  outrageous 
fortune,"  in  a  fit  of  desperation  he  "  flew  to  ills  he  knew  not  of," 
and  a  small  mound  in  Oakland  Cemetery  with  no  monument, 
marks  the  place  where  repose  the  remains  of  Henry  McKenty ! 



Mr.  McKenty  was  born  in  Pennsylvania  in  1821  ;  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1851  and  brought  some  capital  with  him  with  which 
to  operate ;  dealt  largely  in  "  broad  acres,"  and  at  one  time 
owned  nearly  all  the  land  about  Lake  Como  except  that  in  the 
possession  of  Mr.  Aldrich.  To  make  these  lands  available  he 
built  a  road  to  them  at  a  cost  of  ^6,000  in  gold.  He  died  by  his 
own  hand,  a  pistol  shot,  on  the  lOth  of  August,  1869,  aged  forty- 
eight  years.  And  what  is  remarkable  his  youngest  daughter 
soon  after  followed  him,  and  his  wife,  unable  to  bear  these  terri- 
ble troubles,  put  an  end  to  her  existence  by  hanging  herself  in 
her  own  house,  leaving  one  sad,  forlorn,  desolate,  heart-broken 
daughter,  who  subsequently  went  to  Philadelphia  and  married  a 
rich  man. 

Poor  McKenty !  Once  joyous!  happy!  ambitious!  pros- 
perous !  generous  ! — high  up  on  the  teeter-taunter  board  of  life, 
and  then  I  down  again  on  the  other  end,  groping  in  the  darkness 
of  despair,  poor,  heart-broken !  desolate !  dead !  I  throw  the 
mantle  of  charity  over  thy  deed  and  drop  a  green  sprig  upon  thy 
grave ! 

C.    M.    WILSON. 

Major  Wilson  was  born  in  Ohio  in  1842,  and  is  a  son  of 
the  late  Gen.  Thomas  W.  Wilson ;  came  to  St.  Paul  with  his 
parents  in  1851  ;  attended  Miss  Harriet  E.  Bishop's  school  that 
year,  and  also  a  mission  school  kept  by  Rev.  Mr.  Breck,  and  is 
among  the  oldest  scholars  living  of  both  these  schools.  When 
quite  young  he  seemed  to  possess  no  fear,  and  was  at  one  time 
the  captain  and  leader  of  the  upper  town  boys  vs.  the  lower  town, 
and  all  old  citizens  can  readily  recall  many  contests  between 
these  two  factions,  some  of  which  ended  in  pitched  battles.  He 
was  one  of  the  boys  who  in  1852  transformed  William  S.  Comb's 
sign  so  as  to  read,  "  Women's  Side  Combs,"  and  though  not 
maliciously  inclined,  yet  he  was  full  of  mischief. 

SAVED    FROM    DROWNING "  I  'lL    GO  !  " 

When  passing  the  upper  levee  with  other  boys,  he  heard 
screams  in  the  direction  of  the  river,  to  which  point  he  and  his 
companions  rushed,  and  there  they  found  a  man  about  to  sink  in 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN,  •  327 

the  water  for  the  third  time,  and  although  there  were  a  number 
of  grown  persons  witnessing  the  struggHng  victim,  not  a  soul 
moved  to  save  him.  Young  Wilson  pulled  off  his  boots,  jumped 
into  the  river,  swam  to  the  man  who  had  already  sunk  below  the 
surface,  seized  him  by  the  hair  and  pulled  him  to  the  shore 
Such  an  act  of  bravery  was  never  excelled  by  a  boy  only  ten 
years  old,  except,  perhaps,  in  another  case  when  he  rescued  a 
valuable  package  from  a  burning  building. 

In  1852  the  old  Daniels  House,  a  wooden  building  of  four 
stories,  on  the  upper  levee,  w^as  in  flames.  "  Can't  you  save  that 
valuable  package  ?  "  asked  a  lady  boarder  as  she  frantically  and 
piteously  looked  up  into  the  faces  of  a  number  of  men,  at  the 
same  time  pointing  to  the  burning  building,  but  they  made  no 
response,  when  young  Wilson  cried  out — "  I  '11  go  !  "  and  he  did 
go,  and  brought  out  the  valuables,  and  almost  immediately  the 
whole  frame-work  fell  in  with  a  terrible  crash  !  These  brave  traits 
of  character  brought  him  into  prominence,  and  he  was  praised  by 
the  adult  population  and  lionized  as  a  hero  by  the  boys. 


In  1853  young  Wilson  with  his  brother  engaged  in  trading 
with  the  Sioux  Indians  at  Shakopee,  he  being  at  that  time  the 
only  white  boy  in  the  place,  and  it  was  then  and  there  that  he 
first  gained  a  knowledge  of  the  Sioux  language  and  habits,  and 
it  is  amusing  to  see  after  a  lapse  of  some  thirty  years,  how  the 
Indians  will  readily  recognize  ''  the  little  black  head,"  as  they 
used  to  call  him.  He  has  also  been  the  recipient  of  many  beau- 
tiful presents  from  several  Indian  tribes.  In  1855-6-7  he  attended 
school  at  Granville,  Ohio,  and  on  returning  to  Minnesota  took 
up  the  occupation  of  farming,  but  left  it  in  1861  to  join  the  Union 
army,  which  he  did,  and  served  until  the  last  Confederate  soldier 
laid  down  his  arms.  He  was  promoted  step  by  step,  and  each 
time  for  meritorious  conduct. 


In  1864,  in  company  with  Gen.  Stoneman,  he  was  captured 
on  what  is  known  as  the  Stoneman  raid  through  the  State  of 
Georgia,  and  with  the  balance  of  the  men  was  at  once  taken  to 


Andersonville  prison,  where  he  was  kept  six  months,  or  until 
Gen.  Sherman  began  his  march  to  the  sea.  He  was  then  ordered 
to  Charleston,  a  city  which  was  at  that  time  under  strong  bom- 
bardment from  our  army.  He  was  also  prisoner  at  Monticello. 
Fla.,  Florence,  S.  C,  Goldsborough,  and  other  places. 

He  made  his  escape  from  Florence  prison  in  company  with 
fifteen  others,  but  was  recaptured  by  the  use  of  bloodhounds,  at 
which  time  three  of  the  fifteen  prisoners  were  killed  and  seven 
of  the  remaining  ones  died  before  reaching  the  Florence  prison 
again.  He  is  now  the  president  of  the  Ex-Andersonville  Prison- 
ers' Association  in  this  State,  which  alone  is  sufficient  proof  that 
the  statements  herein  made  are  correct,  and  that  he  is  held  in 
high  esteem  by  his  fellow  prisoners.  At  the  close  of  the  war  he 
was  tendered  a  position  in  the  regular  army,  which  he  declined. 


In  1868,  1869  and  1870,  Maj.  Wilson  did  a  large  portion  of 
the  work  upon  the  Lake  Superior  &  Minnesota  Railroad  between 
this  city  and  the  Northern  Pacific  Junction,  and  received  at  the 
hands  of  the  employes  under  him  a  beautiful  gold  watch  and 
chain  worth  $500,  the  contributions  towards  buying  it  coming 
from  over  two  thousand  men.  He  married  in  1871  Miss  Miller 
of  Ohio,  who  died  in  1884,  leaving  a  son  and  daughter.  From 
1872  to  1877  he  was  in  the  real  estate  business  in  this  city,  the 
firm  being  T.  W.  Wilson  &  Son,  and  during  all  of  which  }'ears 
he  took  an  active  part  in  politics,  notably  the  nomination  and 
election  of  Dr.  Stewart  to  Congress. 

In  1878  he  was  appointed  inspector  of  Customs  at  Grand 
Portage,  Minn.,  and  held  the  office  for  about  four  years,  when, 
on  account  of  government  contracts  which  he  had  received, 
together  with  mining  and  lumbering  interests,  he  resigned  the 
office  and  gave  his  attention  to  private  business.  In  1881  he,, 
with  E.  F.  and  A.  Lemay,  formed  a  partnership  under  the  firm 
name  of  Wilson,  Lemay  &  Son  and  engaged  in  railroad  and 
harbor  building,  since  which  date  they  have  built  the  Harbor  of 
Refuge  at  Grand  Marias,  on  Lake  Superior,  together  with  a  large 
amount  of  railroad  and  harbor  work  done  at  and  near  Duluth. 
Minn.,  and  also  at  Superior,  Wis.     He  was  the  first  man  to  open. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  3IINN.  329 

up  the  mine  of  the  Silver  and  Copper  Island  Mining  Company, 
and  was  its  first  superintendent  and  director  and  is  still  a  stock- 

Maj.  Wilson  is  a  rather  slender,  wiry  man,  full  of  energy,  and 
uses  indomitable  will-power  in  his  aims  and  in  his  purposes.  He 
is  what  miners  would  call  a  *'  rustler,"  has  a  very  active  brain 
backed  by  nerve,  and  enters  earnestly  into  all  enterprises  with 
which  he  is  connected.  He  is  liberal  in  his  disposition,  social  in 
his  nature,  a  natural  schemer,  persistent  in  his  efforts,  and  devoted 
in  his  friendships — a  man  of  much  force  of  character. 


In  1 85 1  the  old  post  office  was  kept  in  a  small  log  building 
where  the  Merchants'  hotel  now  stands,  corner  of  Third  and 
Jackson  streets.  A  diminutive  box  about  two  feet  square  con- 
tained receptacles  for  letters  and  a  door  with  several  lights  of 
glass  in  the  top,  shut  out  inquisitive  people  from  entering  the 
sanctum  sanctorum.  In  those  early  days  many  weeks  elapsed 
before  letters  were  received,  and  it  was  natural  that  men  of  fami- 
lies, and  especially  young  men,  should  feel  anxious  to  get  some 
letters  from  home  or  from  their  sweet-hearts,  so  when  the  mail 
came  in,  groups  would  gather  about  the  office  and  await  the 
delivery  of  the  long  looked  for  and  expected  tidings.  On  one 
of  these  occasions  James  Humphrey,  Abram  Elfelt,  C.  P.  V.  Lull 
and  others  were  in  front  of  the  post  office  when  the  mail  arrived, 
and  after  seeing  the  worthy  postmaster,  J.  W.  Bass,  inspect  the 
letters  very  deliberately  and  put  them  away  in  their  places  again, 
and  then  look  at  his  watch  and  lock  the  door  and  go  to  dinner, 
they  could  restrain  their  impatience  no  longer  and  broke  out 
with  words  of  indignation.  Lull  caught  the  sentiment  and 
agreed  if  the  crowd  would  back  him,  he  would  burst  open  the 
door,  and  as  they  assented  to  do  so,  in  \Vent  the  door  with  a 
bang.  Of  course  any  such  attempt  to  break  open  the  doors  of 
the  post  office  now  would  meet  with  severe  punishment,  but  Bass 
only  knit  his  brows  and  grumbled  about  being  in  such  a  hurry, 
and  that  ended  the  matter.  Tempora  miitantiir — times  have 
changed.  The  old  postmaster  and  all  the  parties  mentioned  are 
still  living. 



Judcre  Emmett  is,  or  was  years  ago  when  in  the  city,  a  man 
above  medium  size,  quite  slender,  cleanly  shaven,  and  very  pleas- 
ant in  his  intercourse  with  his  fellow-men.  He  was  born  in  Ohio 
about  1827;  was  well  educated,  studied  law  and  was  admitted 
to  practice  when  quite  young.  He  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1851 
and  was  at  one  time  in  partnership  with  H.  L.  Moss,  and  also 
with  James  Smith,  Jr.;  was  Attorney  General  under  Gov.  Gorman 
in  1854;  was  first  Chief  Justice  of  the  State,  being  elected  in 
1857,  ^""'d  served  for  seven  years.  He  then  carried  on  the  prac- 
tice of  his  profession  in  this  city  for  some  time,  and  finally  moved 
to  Faribault,  and  from  thence  to  Ortonville,  Big  Stone  lake.  He 
was  very  generally  esteemed  for  his  ability  as  a  lawyer  and  a 
judge,  as  well  as  for  those  amiable  traits  of  character  which 
adorned  the  man.  He  was  of  a  retiring  disposition,  undemon- 
strative, unassuming — a  quiet,  solid,  genial  gentleman  and  citizen. 


Was  born  in  England  in  1842;  came  with  his  parents  to 
Cincinnati  in  the  spring  of  1845,  ^^"^d  from  thence  to  St.  Paul  in 
1 85  I.  He  was  educated  chiefly  in  the  parochial  school  of  the 
Central  Church,  this  city.  For  several  years  he  assisted  in  his 
father's  business  on  Third  street,  and  finally  became  a  partner  in 
the  same,  until  its  close  in  1874.  After  this  for  a  year  or  more 
he  became  traveling  agent  for  Eastern  houses  in  the  same  line 
of  trade,  traveling  almost  entirely  in  the  South  for  the  benefit  of 
his  health,  and  finally,  some  eight  or  nine  years  since,  went  into 
the  insurance  business,  in  which  he  still  successfully  remains. 

Mr.  Marvin  is  a  man  of  middle  height,  inclining  to  be  stout 
and  looks  somewhat  older  than  he  is.  He  is  married  and  the 
father  of  three  children,  and  is  emphatically  a  domestic  man,  an 
extensive  and  inveterate  reader,  his  family  and  his  books  when 
away  from  business,  engrossing  his  attention  to  the  exclusion 
of  outside  social  life.  Peculiarly  reticent  in  manner  he  is  gen- 
erous to  a  fault,  but  is  little  understood  except  by  the  ver}-  few 
who  come  to  know  the  faculty  he  has  for  retaining  and  assimi- 
lating the  results  of  his  habit  of  reading,  and  the  sensible  views 
he  holds  in  relation  to  men  and  things  generally. 

OF  ST.  FA  UL,  MINN,  S31 


Was  born  in  Berlin  in  1819;  emigrated  to  America  in 
1849  ;  resided  for  a  year  or  so  at  Chicago  and  St.  Louis  ;  came 
to  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  learned  the  trade  of  a  finisher  of  furniture 
and  for  a  time  worked  for  Stees  &  Hunt ;  left  St.  Paul  in  1 879. 
He  was  a  great  lover  of  theatricals  and  performed  in  the  German 
dramatic  societies  of  this  city  and  is  well  remembered  by  many 
German  citizens.  He  was  a  small  man,  very  quick  and  perfectly 
at  home  on  the  stage,  where  he  now  is  playing  in  Cincinnati. 
Herman  H.,  his  son,  was  born  in  1847;  came  to  St.  Paul  in 
1 85 1  and  has  remained  here  ever  since;  was  for  a  time  in  the 
tea  and  tobacco  business,  but  is  now  engaged  in  real  estate  on 
the  West  Side.  He  is  like  his  father,  small,  but  active,  smart 
and  gentlemanly. 


Mr.  Clark  was  born  in  Ohio  in  1824;  was  educated  at  the 
common  schools  three  months  and  then  labored  on  a  farm.  He 
learned  the  trade  of  a  joiner  and  carpenter  and  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1 85 1  ;  worked  on  the  old  Court  House  when  flour  was  ten 
dollars  per  barrel  and  all  kinds  of  provisions  were  very  high. 
At  night  he  toiled  in  his  cellar  making  doors,  sashes,  etc.  He 
bought  a  farm  in  1854  a  few  miles  from  St.  Paul  on  the  Hudson 
road,  for  about  ninety  cents  per  acre,  and  sold  it  at  the  rate  of 
fifty  dollars  per  acre.  Previous  to  1854  he  had  built  over  two 
hundred  houses  in  St.  Paul,  being  a  carpenter  and  joiner,  and  a 
rusher  at  that.  When  Mr.  Clark  with  his  wife  arrived  at  our 
levee  he  saw  a  man  named  Bully  Wells  trying  to  shoot  another 
man  by  the  name  of  McLagan,  and  his  wife  asked  earnestly — 
**  What  kind  of  a  country  are  you  taking  me  to  ?  "  Clark  said 
he  didn't  really  know  himself — at  least  this  shooting  business 
was  not  down  on  the  program  when  he  started.  Still  he  had 
faith  in  the  place  and  has  it  yet.  He  is  a  quick,  active,  nervous 
man,  full  of  energy,  social  and  pleasant,  of  good  size,  and  has 
been  a  man  of  industry  all  his  life.  Since  his  arrival  here  both 
his  boy,  seven  years  old,  and  his  wife  have  died,  leaving  him 
alone  in  the  world.  The  property  he  has  struggled  so  many 
years  to  retain  is  now  becoming  very  valuable,  and  it  is  fair  to 
presume  that  if  he  lives  ten  years  longer — and  I  sincerely  hope 


that  he  may  Hve  twenty  years — he  will  be  able  to  enjoy  in  ele- 
gant leisure  the  fruits  of  his  early  struggle. 


Mr.  Smith  is  a  living  illustration  of  how  a  man  can  start  on 
the  first  round  of  the  financial  ladder,  climb  to  the  top  by  his  own 
exertions,  and  then  fall  through  the  instrumentality  of  others, 
not  himself,  clearly  demonstrating  that  we  are  creatures  of  cir- 
cumstances rather  than  "  architects  of  our  own  fortunes."  Grant 
won  victories  on  battle  fields  because  it  was  to  be  so,  but  failed 
in  Wall  street  because  of  circumstances  over  which  he  had  no 
control.  We  too  often  pride  ourselves  upon  our  puny  power, 
our  greatness,  our  sagacity,  our  superior  genius,  our  business 
qualifications,  when  after  all  it  is  only  luck,  or  what  is  the  same 
thins — circumstances.  Had  not  circumstances  turned  a";ainst 
Mr.  Smith  when  in  the  heighth  of  his  financial  success,  he  proba- 
bly would  have  been  a  millionaire — now  he  sells  vegetables  in 
the  market.  And  what  is  true  of  him  is  true  of  hundreds  and 
thousands  of  others.  He  was  born  in  Vermont  in  1825,  \vhere 
he  was  educated  and  worked  on  a  farm;  married  in  1845  ^^^^ 
moved  to  Wisconsin ;  farmed  for  a  w^iile  and  came  to  St.  Paul 
in  1 85 1.  Here  he  cut  wood  for  Capt.  Wilkin  for  fifty  cents  per 
cord,  at  the  same  time  packed  bran,  but  his  health  failing  he  col- 
lected bills  for  Samuel  Seargent  for  a  year  or  so,  when  he  was 
elected  a  Justice  of  the  Peace  in  1852;  tried  over  four  hundred 
cases;  never  had  a  jury  trial;  one  case  only  w^as  appealed; 
decision  sustained.  He  continued  buying  and  selling  and  barter- 
ing up  to  1853-4,  when  he  entered  the  banking  business,  opening 
his  office  in  the  corner  of  the  old  brick  building  which  stood  at 
the  junction  of  Third  and  Minnesota  streets  ;  continued  here  for 
five  years,  and  then,  fitting  up  a  handsome  office  in  the  old  Fuller 
House,  corner  of  Seventh  and  Jackson  streets,  moved  there  and 
remained  in  business  up  to  1857.  This  year  the  Ohio  Trust 
Company  failed  and  Smith  lost  $28,000  by  their  paper,  and  in 
one  day  had  to  meet  $86,000  for  which  other  parties  were  respon- 
sible, so  he  closed  his  banking  doors  and  never  opened  them 
again.  He  made  no  assignment,  nor  did  he  go  into  bankruptc}-, 
but  turned  out  all  his  property  to  meet  his  debts.  In  1856  he 
bought  of  a  Mr.  Burns  the  stone  house  on  Dayton's  bluff  known 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  3SS 

as  the  Davidson  property,  and  this  went  with  his  other  assets. 
His  wife  owns  several  acres  near  the  old  place,  and  this  Mr. 
Smith  cultivates,  raising  asparagus  and  small  fruits  and  sells 
them  at  the  market.  He  is  a  man  who  is  seldom  seen  in  the  city 
except  upon  business ;  has  withdrawn  as  it  were  almost  entirely 
from  society,  and  makes  his  home  all  the  heaven  he  can  find 
here,  a  quiet,  undemonstrative,  old-time  gentleman. 


A  tall,  strong,  muscular  man  is  Mr.  Belland,  son  of  the  old 
and  noted  scout  who  died  only  a  short  time  ago,  and  a  man  who 
clearly  shows  his  familiarity  with  frontier  life.  He  was  born  in 
Lac  qui  Parle  in  this  State  in  1840,  and  came  down  the  Minne- 
sota river  in  1841  in  a  birch-bark  canoe  to  Mendota  and  thence 
down  the  Mississippi  to  Pig's  Eye,  below  St.  Paul,  where  he 
remained  seven  years ;  removed  to  Crow  Wing,  but  the  next 
spring  came  back  in  another  birch-bark  canoe  with  H.  M.  Rice, 
down  the  Mississippi  to  Mendota ;  attended  a  French  school — 
the  first  school  of  the  kind  in  the  State — at  Mendota ;  came*  to 
West  St.  Paul  in  1851  ;  was  a  pupil  of  the  Cathedral  school 
three  years  and  also  of  the  college  at  Canada ;  worked  for  Louis 
Robert,  Myrick  and  Forbes ;  in  the  Indian  outbreak  he  was 
special  messenger  for  Gen.  Pope;  in  1864  in  charge  of  a  party 
of  scouts  he  accompanied  Gen.  Thomas  who  was  ordered  to 
locate  Fort  Rice;  in  1865  traded  with  the  Indians  at  Yellow 

a  desperate  fight — discovered  the  murderer. 

While  on  his  scouting  mission  he  found  two  P^renchmen 
who  had  been  fighting  twelve  Indians  two  days  and  two  nights, 
but  he  came  to  their  relief,  drove  the  Indians  away,  and  sav^ed  the 

He  was  the  first  to  discover  and  point  out  the  murderer  of 
the  Jewett  family  near  Mankato,  who  proved  to  be  Campbell,  the 
half-breed  Indian,  and  who  was  subsequently  hung.  Mr.  Belland 
has  been  in  charge  of  scouts  at  various  forts  and  places,  but  is 
now  a  resident  of  West  St.  Paul.  He  is  vice-president  of  the 
Junior  Pioneers,  and  is  a  good  deal  of  a  politician,  dealing  largely 
in  that  commodity.     When   considerably  aroused   his  extreme 


heighth  enables  him  to  pick  the  stars  out  from  the  sky  and 
throw  them  at  his  adversaries  with  telhng  effect,  and  if  he  should 
fail  in  this  he  would  make  his  enemies  flee  from  the  wrath  to 
come  by  his  immense  proportions. 



First  Maine  Liquor   Law — Death    of  the  First  Editor — First    Conviction  for 

Murder — First  Completed  Court  House — First  President  of  Union  Fran- 

coise  and  St.  John  Societies — First  Organization  of  Ramsey 

County  Agricultural  Association — First  News  of  the  In' 

dian  Outbreak — First  Stock  Farm  in  Ramsey 

County — First  Editorial  of  the  Writer 

— First  Restaurant — Events 

and  Old  Settlers  of 

this  Year, 


On  January  ist  of  this  year  a  temperance  convention  was 
held  and  very  earnest  feelings  were  shown  in  favor  of  a  Maine 
liquor  law,  and  a  demand  being  made  for  it  the  Legislature  sub- 
sequently passed  a  bill  which  ^\'as  endorsed  by  a  respectable 
majority  of  the  people  to  whom  it  was  submitted  for  their  rejec- 
tion or  approval.  It  was  later  along  pronounced  unconstitu- 
tional, and  from  that  day  to  this  whisky  has  been  sold  openly  in 
this  city  and  in  this  State.  From  the  records  of  the  past  it  is 
quite  evident  that  the  people  living  in   ^Minnesota  in   1852  were 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  33S 

most  decidedly  in  favor  of  the  abolition  of  the  liquor  traffic,  but  , 
Judge  Hayner,  of  the  Supreme  Court,  pronounced  the  law  null 
and  void  and  the  matter  passed  into  oblivion. 


On  January  7th  the  Legislature  met  for  the  third  time  in 
the  brick  building  which  stood  near  the  corner  of  Third  and  Jack- 
son streets,  where  the  Merchants  now  stands.  Nothing  start- 
ling transpired  at  this  session  except  the  passage  of  the  liquor 
law,  to  which  allusion  has  already  been  made.  Gov.  Ramsey 
read  his  message  to  both  Houses  in  the  old  Baptist  Church, 
which  has  long  since  given  place  to  large  wholesale  warehouses, 
and  the  huge  hill  and  the  little  sacred  edifice  have  passed  into 
history,  but  the  Governor  still  lives.  The  first  Agricultural 
Society  of  Ramsey  County  was  organized  this  year ;  Daniel's 
new  hotel  burned;  Cemetery  Association  formed;  treaty  of 
Sioux  ratified  by  Congress  ;  Court  House  completed,  (now  demol- 
ished ;)  Joseph  R.  Brown  bought  the  Pioneer,  and 


The  death  of  Mr.  Goodhue,  the  pioneer  editor  of  this  city 
and  of  this  State,  which  occurred  on  the  27th  of  August,  1852, 
created  a  profound  sensation,  for  notwithstanding  his  impetuous 
nature  he  was  a  man  of  power,  whose  influence  was  always  cast 
in  the  scale  of  right.  Joseph  R.  Brown,  who  succeeded  him  in 
the  Pioneer,  thus  pays  a  just  and  manly  tribute  to  his  memory : 

"Col.  Goodhue  was  a  man  of  warm  temperament,  which  occasionally  betrayed 
him  into  an  undue  severity  of  comment  upon  those  who  differed  with  him  in  opin- 
ion upon  political  questions,  and  upon  aspirants  for  office  whom  he  deemed  unworthy 
of  public  confidence.  Many  of  his  editorials  would  have  done  no  discredit  to  the 
New  York  Her-ald  in  its  most  palmy  days.  They  are  replete  with  satiric  humor. 
Indeed,  his  powers  of  sarcasm  were  limited  only  by  his  sense  of  propriety,  and  we 
can  all  testify  to  the  effective  mode  in  which  they  were  exercised.  Tn  comparison 
with  the  ordinary  controversial  articles  of  the  country  press,  his  style  of  writing 
was  as  fine  gold  to  lead.  He  will  be  numbered  with  the  small  band  of  sturdy  men  who 
labored  constantly  and  with  iron  resolution,  to  establish  the  pillars  of  society  in  our 
Territory  vipon  a  sound  moral  basis.  His  press  was  always  found  on  the  side  of  law, 
order,  temperance  and  virtue.  Minnesota  may  well  lament  his  death  and  inscribe 
his  name  on  the  roll  of  her  benefactors." 

Mr.  Goodhue  died  at  his  residence,  corner  of  Third  and  St. 
Peter  streets,  just  after  a  terrible  spasm,  having  been  sick  only  a 

336  PEN  PICTURES  . 

short  time.  He  was  buried  in  among  a  forest  of  trees  off  to  the 
right  of  Lake  Como,  in  ground  which  had  been  selected  as  a 
burial  place  for  the  dead,  but  which  was  finally  abandoned 
because  a  good  title  could  not  at  that  time  be  obtained  to  the 
property.  Judge  Goodrich,  his  faithful  friend,  was  the  last  to 
leave  the  grave  after  the  funeral,  and  for  years  afterwards  made 
many  pilgrimages  to  it,  until  at  last  some  vandal  hand  destroyed 
the  trees  and  then  fires  obliterated  the  place  where  now  repose 
the  bones  of  the  first  and  talented  editor  of  the  State  of  Minne- 
sota. When  the  writer  became  assistant  editor  in  the  Pioneer' 
office  in  1853,  he  gathered  up  Mr.  Goodhue's  letters  and  docu- 
ments and  passed  them  into  the  hands  of  his  widow,  now  Mrs. 
Dr.  Mann.  A  biographical  sketch  of  Mr.  Goodhue's  life  appears 
in  Chapter  Nine. 


To  get  to  Superior  in  1852  one  was  obliged  to  go  to  Chicago 
or  foot  it  across  the  marshy  country  occupying  near  a  week  in  the 
journey.  I  made  the  trip  once  on  foot,  and  then  rode  over  it  in 
the  first  wagon,  (and  what  a  trip  ! )  then  in  the  first  stage  ;  then 
in  the  first  railroad  cars.  At  this  time  there  was  no  railroad 
west  of  Rockford,  111.,  and  I  came  over  in  a  stage  from  that  point 
to  Galena  and  took  the  old  steamer  Nominee  for  St.  Paul.  Now 
look  at  the  miles  and  miles  of  railroad  tracks,  not  only  east  but 
west  of  St.  Paul,  and  one  can  go  to  Lake  Superior  in  less  than 
a  day.  Why,  even  the  Pacific  coast  is  now  accessible,  all  accomp- 
lished inside  of  thirty  years. 

The  members  of  the  Territorial  Legislature  used  to  make 
their  journeys  from  Pembina  to  St.  Paul  on  dog  sledges  in 
about  twenty-five  days.     T\\q  Pioneer  oi  1852,  says: 

"Each  liad  his  cariole  drawn  by  three  fine  dogs  harnessed  tastily  with  jingling 
bells  and  driven  tandem-fashion,  at  2:40  at  least  when  put  to  their  speed.  They 
usually  traveled  from  thirty  to  forty  miles  per  day,  and  averaged  about  thirty-five 
miles.  They  fed  the  dogs  but  once  a  day  on  the  trip,  and  that  at  night,  a  pound  of 
pemmican  each.  On  this  they  drew  a  man  and  baggage  as  fast  as  a  good  horse 
would  travel,  and  on  long  journeys  they  tire  horses  out.'' 

Of  course  in  those  early  days  no  horses  could  withstand  the 
trip  across  the  prairies  in  the  snows  on  the  extreme  frontier,  so 
dogs  took  their  places  and  they  became  formidable  and  valuable 
property.     St.  Paul  at  this  time  had  a  population  of  1,500. 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  337 


Elijah  S.  Terry,  brother  of  John  C.  Terry  of  this  city,  was 
murdered  by  the  Sisseton  Indians  near  Pembina,  where  he  had 
gone  to  teach  an  Indian  mission  school.  On  the  2ist  of  July 
Chauncy  Godfrey  killed  his  wife  with  a  pistol  when  in  a  fit  of 
jealousy.  He  escaped  from  the  Territory.  A  Sioux  Indian  by  the 
name  of  Yu-ha-zee,  killed  a  woman  by  the  title  of  Keener,  who, 
with  her  husband  and  family  were  emigrating  on  to  the  land 
then  recently  purchased  of  the  Indians.  Yu-ha-zee  was  arrested, 
indicted  by  the  grand  jury,  tried  and  convicted,  and  sentenced  to 
death,  all  inside  of  a  week.  He  was  hung  in  a  little  over  a  year 

To  my  personal  knowledge  six  or  eight  murderers  had  es- 
caped punishment  in  the  then  Territory  of  Minnesota  when  this 
poor,  friendless  Indian  was  immediately  seized,  tried,  convicted 
and  sentenced  to  death  in  five  days,  and  then  treated  in  a  brutal 
manner  up  to  and  including  his  death.  The  scene  on  St.  An- 
thony Hill  where  the  execution  took  place,  was  simply  disgrace- 
ful to  civilization.  A  hooting  mob  followed  the  poor  creature  to 
his  death  on  a  cold  and  windy  day,  he  shabbily  dressed,  and  vul- 
gar and  obscene  remarks  were  made  when  he  was  ushered  into 
eternity.  I  denounced  the  proceedings  then,  and  denounce  them 
in  stronger  terms  now.  It  is  a  sad  commentary  upon  so-called 
justice  when  one  can  count  up  not  less  than  twenty  murders  in 
the  past  thirty  years  which  have  been  committed  in  this  city,  and 
only  two  of  the  offenders  have  suffered  the  penalty  of  death — 
one  a  woman,  Mrs.  Bilanski,  and  the  other  an  Indian,  Yu-ha- 
zee  !  While  I  admit  that  the  Indian  was  no  doubt  guilty  of  the 
crime  charged,  yet  I  cannot  help  but  mark  the  alacrity  and  the 
manner  in  which  he  was  punished,  while  many  white  murderers 
were  permitted  to  escape  without  even  any  serious  effort  to  arrest 


Caulder  was  a  tall,  raw-boned  Scotchman,  Avho  kept  a 
liquor  saloon  on  Third  street  and  prided  himself  upon  being  a 
gentleman.  At  the  time  I  knew  him  in  1854,  he  must  have  been 
fifty  years  old.  He  was  a  large  man  with  strong  features,  had  a 
quiet  way  of  speaking,  and  I  think  died  sometime  in  the  year 



i860.  It  was  at  his  saloon  that  an  affray  occurred  in  1852,. 
which  terminated  in  the  death  of  a  man  named  Dalton,  and  of 
which  murder  of  course  no  notice  was  taken. 


"  Full  many  a  flower  is  born  to  blush  unseen,"  etc.,  and  this 
seems  to  be  the  case  of  Mr.  McCormick,  who,  though  an  old 
settler  is  scarcely  ever  found  posing  before  the  public.  Born  in 
Pennsylvania  in  181 8,  he  worked  on  a  farm  for  a  few  years  ;  then 
attended  a  common  school ;  became  a  teacher  and  taught  school ; 
was  employed  as  book-keeper  for  four  years  in  an  iron  furnace 
establishment  in  Armstrong  County,  Pennsylvania,  and  came  to 
St.  Paul  in  1852. 

Was  City  Comptroller  of  St.  Paul  two  years ;  receiver  of 
the  Wabasha  bridge  seven  years  ;  engaged  in  the  city  and  U.  S. 
Engineer  department  for  nearly  three  years ;  has  been  and  is 
now  secretary  of  the  board  of  managers  of  the  Reform  School,, 
and  has  held  the  office  since  1869,  or  fifteen  years.  His  famil}' 
consisted  of  a  wife  and  two  children ;  wife  and  son  dead ;  has  a 
daughter  living. 


Mr.  McCormick  says  he  never  expected  to  see  St.  Paul 
what  it  is  to-day.  He  remembers  it  as  a  small  village  with  huts, 
Indians,  French  and  half-breeds,  and  with  no  outward  evidence 
of  its  ultimate  growth  to  its  present  size.  One  of  the  events 
which  impressed  his  mind  most  thoroughly,  was  the  sight  of  a 
dozen  Chippewa  Indians  coming  over  Baptist  Hill  in  1852,  near 
the  old  church,  in  war  paint,  with  tomahawks,  knives  and  guns^ 
ferociously  in  pursuit  of  the  Sioux.  Their  wild,  fierce  looks  and 
demoniacal  yells  haunt  his  memory  yet,  and  why  should  they 
not?  Then,  not  knowing  their  motive,  he  supposed  they  were 
making  a  raid  upon  the  whites,  and  one  can  conceive  what  feel- 
ings a  man  would  have  under  such  circumstances. 

A  more  quiet  and  undemonstrative  man  does  not  live  in  St. 
Paul  than  Mr.  McCormick.  Of  ordinary  size  and  of  a  pleasant 
nature,  he  glides  in  and  out  among  the  busy  throng  almost 
unrecognized  except  to  the  few  who  know  the  beaten  paths  he 
has  trod  for  the  past  thirty-three  years.     He  is  a  man  of  unblem- 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  ^^NN.  339 

ished  character,  retiring  in  his  nature,  strictly  attentive  to  busi- 
ness, honorable,  unambitious,  and  an  excellent  type  of  an  honest 
man.  Mr.  McCormick's  long  connection  with  the  Reform  School 
renders  him  an  important  spoke  in  that  great  wheel  of  youthful 
reformation,  which  is  one  of  the  grandest  institutions  in  the  State 
of  Minnesota. 


Mr.  Shelly  was  born  in  New  York  in  1829  and  came  to  St. 
Paul  in  1852,  or  thirty-four  years  ago.  He  was  a  carpenter  by 
trade  ;  held  the  office  of  City  Assessor  for  two  3^ears  ;  was  an 
officer  in  the  State  Constitutional  Convention,  sergeant-at-arms 
of  both  branches  of  the  Legislature  and  doorkeeper  of  the  United 
States  House  of  Representatives  in  Washington  for  two  sessions. 
He  was  also  sutler  in  the  army. 

He  was  the  first  man  who  brought  the  news  of  the  Indian 
outbreak  in  1862  to  Gov.  Ramsey,  and  he  did  this  on  his  own 
responsibility.  He  was  with  Major  Galbraith,  the  Indian  Agent, 
who  had  organized  a  company  to  go  south,  and  was  on  his  way 
to  St.  Paul,  when  they  were  overhauled  by  a  man  by  the  name 
of  Dickerson,  who  notified  them  of  the  outbreak.  Shelly  imme- 
diately started  for  St.  Paul,  a  distance  of  fifty  miles,  and  after 
riding  all  night  arrived  in  the  morning  and  gave  the  Governor 
the  news.  He  was  in  St.  Paul  on  the  17th  and  the  outbreak 
occurred  on  the  i6th. 

a  narrow  escape — personally. 

On  their  way  to  New  Ulm  they  were  met  by  eighteen 
Indians,  all  painted,  with  rifles  cocked,  and  seeing  the  situation 
they  invited  them  into  a  saloon  near  by  and  treated  them  to  native 
wine.  This  fortunate  circumstance  probably  saved  the  lives  of 
both  Mr.  Shelly  and  Galbraith,  as  it  was  no  doubt  the  intention 
of  the  Indians  to  kill  them  at  this  time. 

Mr.  Shelly  is  a  large  man  and  is  a  natural  politician.  He 
has  made  it  a  profession  and  is  well  posted  in  the  tricks  of  both 
parties.  He  has  a  peculiar  way  of  ingratiating  himself  into  the 
good  graces  of  those  who  *'  run  the  machine,"  and  has  a  remark- 
able faculty  for  worming  out  political  secrets.  He  keeps  posted 
on  all  matters  pertaining  to  both  part'^s,  and  makes  this  the 


business  of  his  life.  His  portly  appearance  and  self-assurance, 
with  his  positive  declarations  as  to  matters  under  discussion,  give 
him  considerable  influence  among  the  party  leaders,  and  very  few 
men  have  more  political  sagacity  than  Shelly,  although  they  may 
have  more  money.  He  once  owned  a  good  many  acres  of  land 
near  Lake  Como,  and  also  a  store  on  Jackson  street,  either  of 
which  would  have  made  him  well  off,  but  the  great  depression 
which  carried  down  a  good  many  old  citizens  did  not  pass  him 
by.  He  is  just  as  much  a  landmark  as  the  Merchants  hotel; 
is  social,  friendly,  kind-hearted,  and  when  gone  will  leave  a 
vacant  place — and  a  big  one. 

T.    T.    MANN COMING    TO    ST.    PAUL. 

Dr.  Mann  was  born  in  Philadelphia  in  1816;  first  attended 
a  country  school  at  a  place  called  "  Down  the  Neck,"  then  a 
school  in  Chester  County,  and  then  a  few  terms  in  a  classical 
establishment  in  the  county  of  Lancaster.  After  four  years'  devo- 
tion to  the  study  of  medicine  and  several  years  in  the  practice  of 
the  same,  he  took  charge  of  a  sanitarium,  and  then  drifted  to  a 
town  on  Lake  Superior  where  he  spent  a  year,  and  following 
that  came  to  this  city  in  1852. 

These  wanderings  were  forced  upon  him  on  account  of  ill- 
health,  and  his  coming  to  St.  Paul  was  purely  accidental.  He 
left  the  mining  regions  of  the  south  shore  of  the  lake  intending 
to  return  to  Philadelphia,  but  when  he  reached  a  little  village  at 
the  lower  end  of  the  lake,  he  chanced  to  see  a  large  government 
map  of  Minnesota  tacked  up  in  the  hotel,  and  it  occurred  to  him 
that  he  might  cross  to  the  Mississippi  and  descend  that  river 
until  he  reached  some  public  conveyance  whereby  he  could  get 
to  Chicago,  so  that  by  these  means  he  would  then  have  made 
the  circuit  of  the  most  western  frontier  country  that  would  proba- 
bly be  settled  and  civilized  during  his  life-time.  In  talking  the 
matter  over  a  gentleman  from  Boston  agreed  to  join  him.  A 
steamboat  would  bring  them  up  to  La  Pointe,  but  from  this  place 
they  must  trust  to  Indian  voyageurs  with  birch-bark  canoes. 
The  camp  outfit  was  soon  on  hand  except  canoes,  whicli  could 
be  bought  at  La  Pointe.  From  there  the  voyageurs  would  agree 
to  bring  them  only  so  far  as  Taylors  P'alls,  and  from  thence  in 
to   Stillwater ;    down  the   St.   Croix    they  ran   great  danger   as 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  341 

neither  of  them  knew  how  to  manage  a  boat.  One  day's  pad- 
dHng  on  the  river,  however,  was  sufficient  for  the  Doctor,  and  he 
abandoned  the  canoe  and  took  refuge  on  a  raft,  his  Boston  friend 
preferring  to  get  through  as  best  he  could  in  his  frail  boat.  The 
raft  in  time  reached  Stillwater  and  soon  after  the  young  traveler 
found  himself  in  St.  Paul. 


A  little  funny  event  led  him  to  remain  here.  The  day  after 
landing  in  the  city  and  while  sitting  in  the  hotel,  a  brisk-appear- 
ing man  introduced  himself  and  asked  the  Doctor  if  he  had  come 
intending  to  loan  money,  at  the  same  time  stating  that  money 
was  five  per  cent.  The  Doctor  laughed  at  that,  saying,  "  that 
was  nothing ;  it  was  six  per  cent,  in  Philadelphia." 

"  Oh,  but  this  is  five  per  cent,  a  month  and  good  paper  at 
that,"  replied  the  little  man. 

Then  the  Doctor  thought  that  if  this  person  was  not  deranged 
the  subject  was  worth  looking  into,  so  a  few  days  after  a  small 
loan  was  made  to  a  dry-goods  man  and  another  to  a  commission 
merchant,  and  both  loans  when  due  were  promptly  paid.  In  the 
meantime  a  little  dickering  took  place  in  lots.  The  beginning 
was  something  like  this :  One  morning  the  frisky  little  gentle- 
man above  referred  to,  persuaded  the  Doctor  to  buy  a  lot. 
Towards  night  he  appeared  again  and  said : 

**  See  here !  I  will  give  you  one  hundred  dollars  advance 
on  that  lot  I  sold  you." 

The  bargain  was  closed  instantly.  In  a  few  days  another 
transaction  took  place  with  the  same  gentleman,  which  was  iden- 
tical with  the  previous  transaction.  This  busy,  wide-awake  real 
estate  man,  who  opened  a  new  life  to  the  subject  of  my  sketch, 
was  no  other  than  Henry  McKenty,  a  well-known  citizen  of  the 
young  town,  whose  friendship,  when  he  fancied  a  man,  knew  no 


These  little  operations  were  followed  up  from  time  to  time, 
and  it  was  two  years  before  the  Doctor  returned  to  Philadelphia. 
On  arriving  there  he  found  that  the  city  had  lost  its  attractions 
and  he  soon  returned  to  St.  Paul,  where  the  most  of  his  time 


since  has  been  occupied  in  the  ordinary  avocations  of  Hfe.  He 
spent  nearly  two  years  in  traveHng  through  Europe,  and  during 
his  trip  wrote  some  admirable  letters  of  affairs  in  the  old  world ; 
and  for  four  years  resided  temporarily  in  the  District  of  Colum- 
bia. All  that  he  has  done  in  a  public  way  was  filling  an  appoint- 
ment as  physician  to  the  Winnebago  Indians,  until  they  were 
removed,  and  for  four  years  serving  as  president  of  the  Agri- 
cultural Society  of  the  State.  At  one  time  he  was  County  Physi- 
cian, but  how  he  obtained  the  office  he  never  inquired  and  never 
knew.  He  always  v/ent  when  called  upon,  never  presented  any 
bill,  and  doubts  if  there  were  any  provisons  made  for  a  physi- 
cian. How  the  Doctor's  term  ended  and  who  succeeded  him, 
he  does  not  know. 


«  • 

One  thing  he  remembers  as  peculiar  to  the  period  when  he 
was  a  boy  and  attended  school,  that  nearly  all  the  teachers 
employed  with  whom  he  came  in  contact,  except  with  the 
Quakers,  appeared  to  be  broken-down  Irish  gentlemen  ;  good 
scholars;  fine  manners,  but  extremely  harsh  in  school.  One 
bright  summer  morning  the  teacher  came  in  with  a  large  black 
snake  gripped  by  the  neck,  which  had  wound  itself  around  his 
arm.  "  Here,"  says  he  to  Mr.  Lloyd,  the  proprietor,  '*  is  a  fine 
dry-land  eel  I  have  brought  you."  He  Avas  terribly  shocked  at 
his  own  ignorance  when  relieved  of  the  snake  and  informed  that 
eels  were  never  found  out  of  the  water. 

Just  before  the  writer  came  to  the  Territory,  Dr.  Mann  mar- 
ried the  widow  of  the  late  James  M.  Goodhue,  first  editor  of  the 
Pioneer,  and  some  years  later  he  visited  Philadelphia  for  the  pur- 
pose of  educating  the  children  of  the  dead  journalist.  To  them 
he  was  a  good  and  an  affectionate  father.  His  thoroughly  hon- 
orable management  of  Mr.  Goodhue's  estate,  turning  over  to  the 
heirs  every  foot  of  ground  left  them  at  their  father's  death,  pro- 
tecting it  from  grasping  knav^es  and  contractors,  is  a  record 
worthy  to  leave  behind  one  when  the  law  presents  so  many  hooks 
to  hang  a  plea  upon  and  through  this  defect  defenseless  orphans 
are  too  often  left  at  the  mercy  of  designing  men,  but  in  this  case 
an  honest  man  protected  the  rights  of  the  helpless. 

OF  ST.  PA  UL,  MINN.  343 

Dr.  Mann  is  a  gentleman  of  fine  literary  attainments,  and  arti- 
cles and  letters  he  has  written  clearly  attest  this  statement.  He  is 
tall ;  usually  walks  a  little  bent  with  a  swinging  movement ;  hair 
white;  hands  behind  him;  and  is  quietly  spoken.  He  has  suf- 
fered for  years  with  a  stomach  difficulty  and  has  rather  with- 
drawn himself  from  society  than  encounter  its  exacting  cares. 
The  home  circle  is  to  him  the  pleasantest  spot  on  earth.  Though 
somewhat  retiring  in  his  nature  yet  when  well  known  he  is 
social,  entertaining,  kind-hearted,  genial,  and  an  excellent  con- 


Born  in  1826  in  the  town  of  Princess  Ann,  Maryland;  at 
the  age  of  eight  years  (1834)  his  mother  moved  to  Philadelphia  so 
that  her  son  Albert  might  be  sent  to  school.  In  1 836  she  again 
moved  to  Ithaca,  New  York,  where  Thomas  Albert  remained 
until  1844,  when  he  came  west.  In  1840  he  entered  the  office 
of  Dr.  William  S.  Pelton  (a  brother-in-law  of  Samuel  J.  Tilden,) 
as  office  boy,  in  order  to  study  medicine,  the  doctor  dying  soon 
after.     Albert  tried  the  silk-worm  culture  but  without  success. 

On  the  13th  of  June,  1852,  he  landed  in  St.  Paul,  and  was 
immediately  employed  by  Anson  Northrop  as  steward  for  the 
St.  Charles  hotel,  St.  Anthony;  and  in  1854  went  into  the  Capi- 
tol, St.  Paul,  as  janitor,  during  J.  Travis  Rosser's  secretaryship. 
He  has  filled  many  places  of  trust  and  responsibility ;  was 
appointed  through  the  influence  of  General  Averill  in  1872  a 
mail  agent,  filling  that  office  ten  years  and  has  been  latterly  in 
the  Custom  House  at  Pembina  and  St.  Vincent  as  Inspector. 

Jackson  is  a  small,  quick,  bright  colored  man,  and  greatly 
interested  in  politics,  being  a  Republican.  He  was  formerly  a 
barber  in  this  city;  removed  to  Duluth;  obtained  an  office,  and 
has  ever  since  been  "  on  the  fly." 

JACKSON    and    an    EPISODE. 

If  I  remember  correctly  it  was  Jackson  whom  Rosser,  a 
Virginian,  then  Secretary  of  the  Territory,  ill  treated,  and  which 
called  forth  criticism  on  the  part  of  the  St.  Paul  Daily  Times, 
then  edited  by  the  writer.  R.osser  resented  the  article  and  threat- 
ened to  whip  the  editor,  but  I  wrung  my  revenge   on   him  by 


manufacturing  a  speech  reported  to  have  been  given  at  a  public  .* 
dinner,  which  under  the  circumstances  he  was  incapable  of  mak- 
ing, and  he  was  so  pleased  with  my  ingenious  method  of  **  whip- 
ping the  devil  around  the  stump,"  that  he  not  only  thanked  me 
cordially  for  what  I  had  done  but  ever  after  was  my  firm  friend. 
Jackson  now  lives  in  Minneapolis.     Rosser  is  dead. 


A  correspondent  writing  from  St.  Paui  in  the  fall  of  1852^ 
says : 

**  My  ears  at  every  turn  are  saluted  with  the  everlasting  din  of  land  !  land  ! 
land  warrants  !  town  lots,  etc.,  etc.  I  turn  away  sick  and  disgusted.  Land  at 
breakfast,  land  at  dinner,  land  at  supper,  and  until  ii  o'clock,  land!  then  land  in 
bed  until  their  vocal  organs  are  exhausted — then  they  dream  and  groan  out — 'land!' 
Everything  is  artificial,  floating — the  excitement  of  trade,  speculation  and  expecta- 
tion is  now  running  high,  and  will,  perhaps,  for  a  year  or  so — but  it  must  have 
a  reaction. 

And  the  reaction  did  come  in  1857,  and  land,  and  fortunes,, 
and  credits,  and  almost  everything  else  went  out  of  sight,  and 
men  commenced  over  again  their  eventful  lives,  and  land  again 
gained  its  footing  and  prosperity  again  returned,  and  what  was 
once  wild  speculation  has  become  solid  and  firm. 


Young  Morgan  resembled  Stephen  A.  Douglas  only  Morgan 
was  smaller,  but  he  had  the  same  cast  of  countenance  and  the 
same  peculiar  form,  and  both  were  Democrats.  "  Little  Jack," 
as  he  was  familiarly  called,  was  born  in  Ohio  somewhere  about 
the  year  1 827 ;  was  a  printer  by  trade  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in. 
1852.  Here  he  took  an  active  part  in  politics,  especially  those 
of  the  Democratic  party,  and  on  all  occasions  and  everywhere 
**  Little  Jack"  was  the  mouth-piece  of  the  Democracy.  He  was 
at  one  period  in  his  history  editor  of  a  paper  in  the  Minnesota 
valley,  and  was  chief  clerk  of  the  Senate  at  the  time  Gen. 
Gorman  was  Governor,  I  think  in  the  year  1855.  His  head  was 
large,  his  tone  self-assuring,  his  air  that  of  a  man  of  importance,, 
while  his  small,  chubby  body  resembled  somewhat  a  banty 
rooster.  He  was  connected  with  a  good  family  in  Ohio,  one  of 
his  brothers  having  been  speaker  of  the  Ohio  House  of  Repre- 
sentatives.    William    Noot,    John    P.  Owens,   Rill    Shelly,  Jack 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  345 

Morgan  !  What  memories  these  four  names  bring  up,  especially 
out  of  the  dark,  almost  forgotten  political  past.  Jack  died  some 
twenty-eight  or  twenty-nine  years  ago  from  an  overdose  of 
hilarity ;  Owens  passed  away  only  a  few  months  since ;  Shelly 
and  Noot  still  live  to  enjoy  the  fruits  of  a  Democratic  victory, 
while  the  wheel  of  Time  continues  its  everlasting  revolution. 
And  so  come  the  weeks,  and  the  months,  and  the  years,  and  the 
centuries,  and  with  them  the  young,  and  the  ardent,  and  the 
ambitious,  and  in  the  eternal  march  of  time  they  will  all  be 
swept  into  the  ocean  of  eternity,  making  way  for  others,  who,  in 
their  turn  will  follow  their  footsteps. 

"  I  GATHER  THEM  IN  !   I  GATHER  THEM  IN  !  " DEAD  ! 

So  says  the  old  reaper  Death  as  he  industriously  swings  his 
scythe  among  the  men  and  the  women  of  over  a  quarter  of  a 
century  ago.  He  makes  no  distinction — he  overlooks  no  one — 
he  is  impartial  in  his  dealings — he  is  unrelenting  and  exacting 
in  his  demands — he  is  unerring  in  his  calls.  Beauty,  money, 
wealth,  fame,  poverty,  distress,  virtue,  manhood,  youth,  woman- 
hood, all  alike  are  laid  low  in  the  dust.  So  far  as  this  world  is 
concerned  each  have  a  common  level,  so  far  as  the  other  world 
is  concerned  that  depends  upon  the  deeds  done  here ;  but  the 
universal  fate  of  all  is — Death. 

Mrs.  Anna  E.  Ramsey  died  at  her  late  elegant  residence  on 
South  Exchange  street,  on  the  29th  of  November,  1884,  at  4 
o'clock  p.  M.,  aged  fifty-nine  years  ;  and  thus  another  prominent 
and  greatly  esteemed  member  of  the  old  settlers  has  passed 
behind  the  dark  curtain  which  divides  the  future  from  the 
present,  and 

*'  Drawing  the  drapery  of  her  couch  about  her, 
Has  lain  down  to  pleasant  di-eams." 


Mr.  Ames  was  born  in  Massachusetts  in  181 2;  his  father 
manufactured  the  celebrated  "  Ames'  shovel,"  while  his  elder 
brothers,  Oakes  and  Oliver,  were  the  originators  and  builders  of 
the  Union  Pacific  Railroad.  He  himself  ran  an  iron  business  in 
New  Jersey,  and  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1852.  Here  he  engaged 
in  the  manufacturing  interests  and  then  having  purchased  some 


300  acres  of  land  near  St.  Paul,  he  opened  a  stock  farm.  Kis 
property  lay  near  the  Harvester  Works  and  is  now  very  \aluable. 
The  stock  farm  was  an  excellent  one,  because  it  had  the  finest 
herd  of  short-horned  cattle  in  the  country. 

He  was  one  of  the  original  proprietors  of  the  town  site  of 
St.  Peter ;  president  of  the  State  Agricultural  Society  in  1 863  ; 
a  member  of  the  Board  of  Education  in  1856-7  ;  a  member  and 
one  of  the  organizers  of  the  Chamber  of  Commerce ;  a  corpora- 
tor and  one  of  the  first  directors  of  the  St.  Paul  &  Pacific  Rail- 
road Company  ;  president  of  the  Home  Insurance  Company  ;  a 
stockholder  in  the  St.  Paul  Gas  and  St.  Paul  Dispatcli  com-* 
panics  ;  was  a  state  delegate  to  the  Cincinnati  convention  which 
nominated  Greeley  for  President,  and  died  in  1873  age  sixty-one 

Mr.  Ames  was  a  good-sized  man  and  as  he  grew  older  he 
became  corpulent.  He  was  a  person  of  considerable  force  of 
character ;  very  affable ;  an  excellent  entertainer,  and  his  late 
residence  which  has  recently  been  remodeled,  stands  upon  a 
plateau  which  surrounds  St.  Paul  and  is  nov.-  the  home  of  Uri 
Lamphrey,  Esq.  The  first  party  I  attended  in  the  West  was  at 
the  cheerful  and  pleasant  home  of  Mr.  Ames,  thirt\"-two  \-ears 

Had  Mr.  Ames  lived  and  retained  his  property  to  the  pres- 
ent  time,  it  would  have  made  him  a  man  worth  $500,000  inde- 
pendent of  other  resources.  The  original  cost  to  him  of  the 
land  he  purchased  at  an  early  day,  was  about  ;^  15,000;  profit 
^485,000,  and  yet  at  the  time  he  bought  his  farm  it  was  con- 
sidered away  out  of  the  city.  He  had  several  sons  and  left  a 
sweet,  pretty,  pleasant  widow. 

L  V.  D.  heard. 

Thirty-two  years  ago  the  writer  met  Mr.  Heard  for  the  first 
time  on  the  old  steamer  Nominee,  and  he  (Heard)  had  then  just 
reached  the  age  of  twenty-nine  years.  He  is  now  at  noon-day 
fifty.  Born  in  New  York  State  in  1834  he  received  an  academ- 
ical education,  studied  law,  was  admitted  to  practice,  and  in  1852 
arrived  at  St.  Paul,  where  he  acted  as  clerk  in  the  law  offices 
of  Wilkin  &  Van  Patten,  Ames  &  Van  Etten  and  Rice,  Hollins- 
head  &  Becker.     His  talents  and  ambition  carried  him  into  the 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MIXN.  347 


City  Attorneyship  in  1856,  and  again  in  1865,  1 863  and  1867, 
and  he  filled  the  position  with  great  credit.  In  1857  ^'^^  ^'^'^^  ap- 
pointed County  Attorney,  and  was  then  elected  to  the  same  office 
for  two  years,  and  re-elected  in  1859  and  1861,  holding  the  place 
six  years.  In  1871  he  was  sent  to  the  State  Senate  from  Ramsey 
County;  was  also  at  one  time  a  member  of  the  Cullen  Guard, 
Adjutant  of  mounted  militia,  member  of  Gen.  Sibley's  staff 
and  Acting  Judge  Advocate  of  a  military  commission  at  the  trial 
of  the  Sioux  in  1862.  He  subsequently  wrote  a  history  of  the 
Indian  war  which  is  probably  more  correct  than  any  work  on  the 
same  subject  in  circulation. 

[From  the  Pioneer  of  October  13,  1853.] 

"ARE    YOU    CERTAIN  .' 

"A  little  incident  occurred  on  board  of  the  Nominee  on  her  passage  up, 
which,  as  it  tends  to  illustrate  the  old  saying  that  we  should  be  careful  what 
we  sav,  we  publish  it  for  the  benefit  and  edification  of  our  readers. 

"Two  young  gentlemen  were  seated  at  the  supper  table  briskly  engaged 
with  their  knives  and  forks,  when  one  of  them  overheard  the  name  of  the 
other  brought  in  question  by  three  gentlemen,  who  occupied  seats  nearly  oppo- 
site. As  a  matter  of  course  the  curiosity  of  the  one  talked  about  led  him  to 
listen,  and  he  had  the  satisfaction  of  learning  the  following  very  interesting 
facts  concerning  himself  : 

"'  He  wore  a  white  hat — was  a  small  man,  and  said  he  was  connected  with 
Mr.  Brown,  at  St.  Paul.' 

" '  What  was  his  name  V  interrogated  another  gentleman. 

" '  N .' 

"  '  There  is  no  such  person  in  St.  Paul,'  said  the  third.  '  Are  you  not 
mistaken  in  the  name  ^ ' 

" '  No  !  He  was  introduced  to  me  at  Chicago.  I  should  judge  he  was  a 
sort  of  fast  man — thought  a  good  deal  of  a  celebrated  horse  owned  by  a  gentle- 
man there,  and  wished  to  go  to  the  races  which  came  off"  that  afternoon.  He 
was  introduced  to  me  and  I  was  informed  that  he  was  on  board  of  the  boat.' 

"  '  Did  he  wear  a  mustache  ?  ' 

"  '  I  think  not.' 

"'Had  he  whiskers  .?' 

" '  I've  no  recollection  that  he  had.  He  wore  a  white  hat — was  quite  a 
small  man.' 

"'Hal  ha!  ha!'  laughed  the  third ;  '  I  guess  he  was  an  impostor.  There 
is  no  such  man  in  St.  Paul;  Mr.  Brown  was  the  firm  when  I  left,  and  that's 
onlv  a  short  time  ago.     You've  been  sold — ha!  ha!  ha  ! ' 

'"Ha!  ha!  ha!'  chimed  in  another.  And  thus  the  looking-glass  was  held 
up  before  the  face  of  the  unsuspecting  stranger  who  had  ample  time,  as  Burns 
savs,  '  to  see  himself  as  others   see   him.'     The   natural   conclusion  the    trio 


came  to  was,  that  the  small  man,  who  wore  a  white  hat,  was  an  impostor. 
And  with  this  impression  they  withdrew  from  the  board  evidently  much  pleased 
with  their  tea-table  conversation.  The  young  man  who  had  been  the  subject 
of  their  remarks,  also  withdrew,  and  shortlv  after  meeting:  one  of  the  afore- 
said  gentlemen,  he  accosted  him  as  follows: 

"  '  At  the  table  I  heard  you  mention  the  name  of  Mr.  Newson  whom  vou 
took  for  an  impostor.  I  am  that  gentleman  ' — extending  his  hand  '  and  am 
happy  to  make  your  acquaintance.'  The  peculiar  lights  and  shades  which 
played  over  his  countenance  can  be  better  imagined  than  described.  He  at 
once  recognized  his  mistake,  and  made  due  apology  for  his  remarks,  which 
was  received  in  the  kindest  manner,  and  during  the  remainder  of  the  passage 
the  two  were  on  intimate  and  friendly  terms. 

"  Moral — Ahva^'s  be  careful  what  you  say,  remembering  the  old  adage, 

that  the  d 1  is  alwavs  near  when  vou  are  talking  about  him.     That  man  is 

an  impostor.?     Are  you  certain.?     Be  careful." 

The  significance  of  this  article,  copied  from  the  Pioneer  of 
thirty-two  years  ago,  lies  in  the  fact  that  the  young  man  who 
thought  the  present  writer  was  an  impostor  then,  is  no  less  a 
personage  than  I.  V.  D.  Heard,  of  the  present  day  ;  and  I  repro- 
duce the  article  because  not  only  of  the  pleasant  memories  it 
evokes  from  the  past,  but  because  also  it  is  the  first  article  I  wrote 
in  the  then  Territory,  now  State  of  Minnesota.  We  were  both 
young  men  then,  but  to-day  we  are  traveling  together  down  the 
hill  of  life,  the  one  who  wore  the  w^hite  hat  having  a  little  the  lead 
of  the  young  chap,  who,  not  knowing  that  I  had  been  to  St.  Paul 
and  had  made  arrangements  with  Mr.  Brown  to  accept  a  position 
on  the  PioJieer  and  was  then  on  my  way  back  for  that  purpose, 
thought  it  could  not  be  so,  and  hence  the  laugh,  the  joke,  and  the 
explanation.  An  acquaintance  thus  made,  and  a  friendship  thus 
formed,  has  remained  uninterrupted  for  thirty-two  years. 


Aside  from  his  fine  abilities  as  a  lawyer,  Mr.  Heard  possesses 
literary  qualifications  of  a  high  order.  He  is  quite  a  classical 
scholar,  and  his  productions  show  thought  and  polish.  As  a 
speaker  he  is  somewhat  nervous,  yet  he  is  decided  and  his  utter- 
ances carry  conviction,  and  this  same  characteristic  is  shown  in 
his  efforts  at  the  bar.  He  is  earnest,  sincere,  honest ;  and  this 
gives  him  an  enviable  position  in  his  profession.  As  a  man  he 
is  warm-hearted,  and  has  the  delicate  sympathy  of  a  woman. 
He  would  if  he  could  make  the  w^orld  a  great  deal  happier  than  it 

OF  ST.  PAUL,  MINN.  849 

is.  He  is  of  medium  height,  somewhat  sturdy  in  his  build,  pos- 
sessing a  round,  well-developed  head,  with  a  peculiar  yet  not  un- 
pleasant twist  of  the  mouth  when  he  speaks  ;  is  able,  quiet,  mod- 
est, industrious ;  a  respected  and  valuable  citizen. 


Mr.  Demules  was  born  in  Canada  in  1832;  married  a  sister 
of  Vetal  Guerin ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1852;  was  a  clerk  for 
Louis  M.  Olivier  for  two  years  ;  was  also  a  clerk  and  agent  for 
Louis  Robert  from  i860  to  1862  ;  in  1863  opened  a  grocery  store 
corner  Wabasha  and  Seventh  streets  ;  was  in  business  up  to  1874 ; 
was  a  candidate  for  Treasurer  of  the  City ;  was  candidate  for 
Register  of  Deeds  twice;  was  elected  Alderman  and  School 
Inspector ;  was  the  first  president  of  the  Union  Francaise  Society ; 
was  first  president  of  St.  John  the  Baptist  Society ;  held  various 
offices  in  these  two  orders ;  was  also  promoter  of  these  societies 
which  formed  the  parish  of  St.  Louis  French ;  held  the  office  of 
United  States  Ganger  six  years,  and  was  at  the  time  of  his  death, 
in  September,  1885,  Deputy  Collector  of  Customs. 


Four  days  before  the  outbreak  of  the  Sioux  Indians  in  1862, 
Mr.  Demules  raised  a  company  of  forty-five  men  to  enlist  in  the 
Federal  army,  and  while  on  his  way  to  St.  Paul  he  heard  of  the 
outbreak  and  his  men  and  others  organized  into  a  strong  body 
at  St.  Peter  and  marched  to  the  defense  of  the  fort,  and  in  making 
that  defense  three  of  his  men  were  killed  and  three  were  wounded. 
After  the  fort  had  been  saved,  all  the  men  enlisted  in  the  Mounted 
Rangers  to  serve  in  the  State,  and  Demules  returned  to  take 
charge  of  Capt.  Robert's  business,  including  four  stores. 

He  purchased  twenty-two  acres  in  St.  Paul  in  1852,  costing 
;^i,300;  worth  now  $100,000;  100  feet  on  Seventh  street,  costing 
;$2,500;  worth  now  ;^30,ooo;  ten  acres  near  the  Manitoba  round- 
house, for  which  he  paid  ;^i,ioo;  worth  $55,000;  a  lot  near  the 
Union  Depot  on  Fourth  street ;  cost  $900 ;  worth  $40,000 ;  two 
lots  on  Norris  street,  cost  $2,000 ;  worth  $8,000 ;  ten  acres  on 
Lambert's  Island,  near  Vadnais  lake,  for  $250  ;  worth  $8,000,  and 
lots  of  property  in  other  places,  all  of  which  has  greatly  advanced 
in  value,  and  among  it  were  three  lots  v/here  the  German  Catho- 


lie  Church  now  stands,  which  cost  him  Sqod  ;  worth  $15,000; 
sold  them  for  ;$  1,700,  and  ;^500  of  the  purchase  money  went 
towards  the  education  of  his  children  of  whom  he  has  had  five, 
and  of  these  one  son  has  been  a  member  of  the  Legislature. 

Mr.  Demules  was  always  a  stirring,  active  citizen,  never  fail- 
ing to  advance  the  interests  of  St.  Paul.  He  was  not  tall,  nor 
fat,  and  yet  possessed  a  physical  organization  which  was  capable 
of  great  endurance.  He  had  a  high  head,  almost  completely 
bald,  resembling  somewhat  the  ''  top-knot "  worn  by  the  late 
Horace  Greeley.  He  was  only  a  remnant  left  of  that  gallant 
band  of  Frenchmen  who  were  the  early  pioneers  of  our  city  and 
to  whose  memories  we  turn  with  the  kindest  regard,  for  in  my 
investigations  of  history  I  find  that  they  were  a  bold,  brave,  hardy» 
honest  class  of  men,  who  committed  no  deeds  of  violence  of 
which  history  need  be  ashamed. 

R.    O.    SWEENEY. 

Born  in  Philadelphia  in  1831  ;  removed  to  Kentucky  when 
a  mere  lad  ;  then  returned  to  the  Quaker  City  ;  received  an  aca- 
demical education  ;  father  enlisted  during  the  Mexican  war  and 
died  in  Mexico,  when  young  Sweeney  entered  a  silk  house  at 
the  age  of  seventeen  years  and  remained  in  it  until  he  was  twenty- 
one  years  old  ;  came  to  St.  Paul  in  1852  ;  was  a  partner  of  W.  S. 
Potts  in  the  drug  business  ;  five  years  later  he  pu